Miss Sherry, fess up!

dr.liz(7 NJ)July 31, 2014

How many species of butterflies and moths have you grown in your career? I was trying to think, but I'm sure I missed a lot.

I think I may speak for the forum when I say we are in awe of you!

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Actually, I haven't raised that many different varieties of butterflies and moths, Liz, I just keep raising the same ones over and over again. But thank you anyway!

Here's the butterflies I've raised -

Pipevine Swallowtails (Jillions)
Zebra Swallowtails (Only two!)
Black Swallowtails (Many)
Giant Swallowtails (Not many lately)
Tiger Swallowtails (A few every year)
Spicebush Swallowtails (Very many, especially this year)
Palamedes Swallowtails (Many)
Cloudless Sulphurs
Sleepy Oranges
Little Yellows
Gulf Fritillaries (Many)
Variegated Fritillaries (A few most years)
Pearl Crescents (My first batch this year!)
Question Marks
American Ladies
Red Admirals
Red-Spotted Purples (A lot every year)
Goatweed Leafwings
Long-tailed Skippers
Silver Spotted Skippers
Common Checkered Skippers

Moths -

Regal Moths (Hickory Horned Devils)
Io Moths
Luna Moths
Promethea Moths
Sweetbay Silk Moths
Cecropia Moths
Tobacco Hornworms/Carolina Sphinx Moth
Tersa Sphinx Moths


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:39PM
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terrene(5b MA)

"haven't raised that many", haha.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:49PM
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dr.liz(7 NJ)

Omigosh, are you kidding? What do you consider "a lot?"i'm with terrene on this one.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:59PM
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alex928 Z8/LA

Wow! I'm not sure I'd call that "not that many," but then, I've only raised BSTs so far. I could include a leopard moth cat that somehow got into my house among those if I hadn't put it back outside, I think last year. Sometimes I wish I had kept it, but I didn't know much about them at the time (actually, still don't, but how hard can it be to learn about them these days?). Plus it was too dark at the time to hunt around for food for it. Apparently they have quite a variety of host plants.

This post was edited by alex928 on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 18:20

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:13PM
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Since youve raised the pipevine swallowtails, what kind of dutchman pipevine do you have?? I seem to have a wrong kind (the calico one) but it does help out with the polydamas swallowtail but I want the PIPEVINE one as well! Heh I cannot seem to fine the plant for it (Wooly Pipevine). Help!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:56PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

You need Aristolochia tomentosa to raise pipevine swallowtails. Pine Ridge Gardens in Arkansas carries it, as does Mail Order Gardens in Florida, but I'd be careful about Mail Order Gardens, since I read somewhere they were using pesticides on their plants! I find this amazing, since they're a native plant nursery that advertises host and nectar plants for butterflies. If you order from them, I'd ask the owner (Amy, I think) if they've used pesticides on the pipevines. If they are, then you'd need to wait a while before planting it out, since it would kill any caterpillars that ate the leaves until the pesticides wore off.

You could look up Aristolochia tomentosa on the internet - there are undoubtedly other nurseries that sell it. I've got A. macrophylla, but it hasn't done nearly as well for me as the A. tomentosa, which is better adapted to the high heat and humidity in the Deep South.


Here is a link that might be useful: Pine Ridge Gardens

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:13PM
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Wow thats amazing!!!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:12PM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

That is quite an extensive list MsSherry, agree with others.
Have you ever tried your hand at the Polka Dot Tiger moth? I especially like this one, as it appears in daylight. The cats are so cute, with their large, soft fur-tufts, and the moths are drop-dead gorgeous! And all it takes is a Mandevilla or two.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:53AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Polka dot tiger moths don't ocur here, MsMorningSong. As far as I know, they only occur in Florida, and I thought they only used oleanders, didn't know they'd also use mandevilla.

We do have a close relative of theirs, scarlet bodied wasp moths, though. They reportedly lay their eggs on climbing hempweed, so, when it started coming up in a certain section of my property, I let it grow. Well, it's grown and grown, but I've never found a caterpillar. Scarlet bodied wasp moths only show up here in late summer and fall, so maybe it's too late in the year for egg laying, I don't know. Anyway, I'm leaving the vines, just in case!

Here's a picture I made of one last year, nectaring on Ellen's Blue butterfly bush -


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:08PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I found another picture from last year, I think it was -


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:29PM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

What a beautiful moth MsSherry! I hope you end up getting some cats. You are most certainly the expert, I hadn't looked up their range (Polka dots) Does the wasp moth also occur in Florida? (I know I could google it, but like the conversation to stay here)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:58PM
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Polka Dot Tigers also lay on Oleander quite frequently as well :)


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:11PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Yes, scarlet bodied wasp moths occur in Florida, too, at least my books say they do.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 5:01PM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

Thank you for the reply. I will keep checking my enormous Mandevilla for cats, (I saw them earlier this year, and for many prior) to take a pic for verification of them using this for their babies.
Leafhead: TY, I don't have oleandar, but perhaps I should get some to help draw in these lovely moths!
An now I must think of planting plant some climbing hempweed! :)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 6:13PM
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There is another Wasp Moth that uses Oleander as well, the Lesser Oleander Moth (The Polka Dot being the Greater). I've had both cats occur on my Adenium obesum (Mohave Desert Rose) too.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:57AM
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