What if a Gulf Frit lays eggs in Missouri?

christie_sw_mo(Z6)August 16, 2010

I saw a Gulf Frit again today which makes the third one. This one was less tattered than the one I saw on the 12th so it has to be a different one. I saw the first one around the 8th of August. I'm hoping at least one was a female.

I have passiflora incarnata. If they layed eggs now, would a chrysalis survive the winter here or do they emerge and then fly south?

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Christie, I don't think they will winter over as a chrysalis; they don't here. They have plenty of time to lay eggs, grow, and emerge before they leave your area.

Have your checked your P. incarnata to see if you have eggs? GFs lay eggs everywhere on the plant. Sometimes I've found them on the trellis, go figure! They like to use the tentrils especially.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 5:28AM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

They don't winter over in areas that get below freezing. They migrate south along with several other butterflies: Buckeyes, Cloudless Sulphurs, Variegated Fritillaries, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Migration in Florida

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 8:51AM
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skinnyhoops(9B Altamonte Springs, FL)

Hello from Florida! The Gulf Frit is all over the place here. We had 4 of them flying around my backyard at the same time yesterday. They're laying eggs all over the passiflora caerulea which is still fairly new from the nursery. They are sub-tropical, so no overwintering in northern states. On the plus side, it's only August so plenty of time for the lil' buggers to develop into butterflies before they migrate.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:08AM
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I haven't looked for eggs yet. I looked for cats and just found variegated frits. I'm not sure I could tell their eggs apart.

It's good to know they don't just die when it gets cold.

I didn't know Buckeyes fly south. That's my most plentiful butterfly this summer. Just about any time I go outside, I can stand in one spot and count dozens.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:34AM
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I meant to ask if Florida is their final destination or just a stop on the way further south.
What about Buckeyes?
Do you have butterflies year-round Skinnyhoops?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:38AM
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alex928 Z8/LA

Runmede: I guess that explains why I see so many Gulf frits, Cloudless Sulphurs, and Buckeyes in my area (SE LA) in the fall months (I don't remember seeing any Variegated frits though). There are other kinds of butterflies too, but those three species seem to dominate.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:52AM
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skinnyhoops(9B Altamonte Springs, FL)

christie, the Gulf Frit and Monarch have whats called a sink population in Florida, especially southern Florida. The sink population just means that they can stay year-round in certain areas where it doesn't freeze. No need to migrate to warmer temps because it remains relatively warm even during winter months.

Since this is my first year attempting to attract butterflies to my yard through host plants, I don't know for sure if they'll hang around all year. Though I have read that the Gulf Frit can reproduce year-round in Florida. With warmer temps, the life cycle speeds up. With colder temps, it just slows down.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 2:13PM
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Christie - you're so lucky to get the Variegated Frits, too! Wish I could get some here, but I rarely see them in the city.

Not many in the garden today, but we started out with a bit of a small shower, and skies were cloudy for most of the morning. Boy, is it humid out now! I have tons of Hackberries and Question Marks on the banana. Finally a summer form QM showed up today, and she was so orange, I thought it was a new species at first!

I love the Gulf Frits because they tend to stay and hang around in my garden, so I have lots of them playing, breeding, laying, at all times. So far, I haven't seen many. My Passion Vine is new this year, so there's not as much of yet for them to destroy! LOL!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 2:48PM
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I saw two Gulf Frits at the same time today on my zinnias. One was brighter orange than the other so maybe I'll get some eggs. I'll check for them.
Thanks for the replies.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 8:10PM
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I've been checking my p. incarnata for cats and haven't found any yet but today I found a grayish white chrysalis nearby that looks just like the photos that I Googled for Gulf Frit. I brought it in but now I'm wondering if that might confuse it. I don't want it to emerge at the wrong time. Should I have left it outside?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 8:55PM
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I just released a Gulf Frit. : ) I took my camera out with me and was going to get a picture of it before it took off buy it was too fast. Hope it didn't go far.
I have another chrysalis that I found a few days after the first one that hasn't emerged yet.
I've really enjoyed having them in my yard this summer. They're so pretty.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 3:53PM
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They are pretty, Christie! I've had a couple hanging out around the yard, but no eggs yet, so must be 2 males waiting for a female to show up. Hmmmmmm.

On the other hand, I'm collecting Monarchs still, so maybe I have enough going on right now.

Congrats on your releases!


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 4:23PM
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