Questions about Queens

tom123_gw(9b)August 25, 2013

I see very few Queens on my property, in spite of the fact that just five miles away there are many in a state park where I go for bike rides. I know they use milkweeds, but it doesn't seem to be their favorite food here, because I get lots of Monarchs and so few Queens. In the park I don't see any Monarchs, just Queens--and a lot of other butterflies.

So, what else do they eat?

Since there doesn't seem to be any Queen migration I wonder where they grow. Are there any in your areas? I'm in Central Florida.

I also see them on feces in the park. I don't think that's normal for Monarchs. Is it?

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Leafhead

Queens use a Florida native Milkweed relative called Whitevine (Sarcostemma clausum). It is salt tolerant and thrives in poor, rocky well-drained soil. It is attractive for both Queens and Monarchs alike.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 3:13PM
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MandM55(9 FL)

Hi!
I am near Daytona Beach and I have had quite a few Queens. I have had the pleasure of raising a few. I also have a lot of Monarchs. This is all new to me and I am still learning.

I went to my local nursery this weekend looking for whitevine and maypop but no luck. Today I counted 6 eggs on my maypop. They look like Gulf Frits. Here is one of my male Queen Butterflies.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 7:43PM
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tom123_gw(9b)

I'm wondering if anyone has had experience with Whitevine. From what I've read it can become a bit invasive.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 8:23PM
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four(9B (near 9a))

> Posted by tom123
> Are there any in your areas? I'm in Central Florida.
> very few Queens on my property
> five miles away there are many in a state park
> In the park I don't see any Monarchs, just Queens

I am adjacent to Orlando, near UCF.
One Queen every two weeks, staying for one or two days.
Same pattern for years.
Yesterday a local lady told me of her many Queens.

Five miles apart is worlds apart if food is near.
Queens in lady's vicinity don't need to travel in search of my milkweeds;
and Queens in park's vicinity don't need to travel in search of your milkweeds.
Likewise, your monarchs do not need to go to the park.
My monarchs DID need to travel after my milkweeds were ruined by rain-soggy soil;
and did not need to return after I planted new milkweeds.

>I also see them on feces in the park. I don't think that's normal for Monarchs. Is it?

Monarchs commonly pause on whatever, and Queens do it even more frequently.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 6:14PM
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bcbud

i get queens on mexican milkweed. They lay eggs on whats available

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 7:45PM
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Leafhead

Tom123,
Whitevine could be very invasive outside its native coastal South Florida and surrounding areas. It is a very aggressive grower and needs a lot of space. It prefers poor, rocky alkaline soil to humus and is somewhat salt and drought tolerant. Needs full sun. Whitevine attracts all three of Florida's Danaus species, including the Monarch, the Queen and the Tropic Queen, or Soldier Butterfly.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 2:26PM
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tom123_gw(9b)

Mexican Milkweed? Haven't heard of that before.

I think I am seeing Whitevine popping up in many different areas of my garden. It has small white blossoms and it bleeds the milky white fluid when cut.

Right now I don't see any blooms, but the vines are growing very well. I'll try to post a picture when it blooms.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 7:38AM
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Leafhead

Mexican Milkweed is another name for Tropical Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 11:55AM
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Leafhead

Tom123,

Whitevine has opposite, medium green leaves and light green to white star shaped flowers. Kind of resembles its cousins the Hoya, or a mini Stephanotis.

MandM55,
Try a place called Butterfly World in Coral Springs, on Sample Rd just west of the Turnpike. It's a bit of a drive for you, but I'm quite sure they carry it. They also carry native Passion Vine. Your other option is to collect it from the wild. Whitevine roots well from cuttings or tip layering.
Wild Passionvine (P. suberosa) transplants well as small plants and volunteers readily thru birds.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2014 at 12:16PM
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