Fauna

tigerdawn(7)May 7, 2012

Here are a few things living in my garden. Does anyone know what the caterpillars are?

White Cabbage Butterfly

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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

TigerDawn - they look like Variegated Fritillary caterpillars to me. They feed on Violets and emerging shoots of Passiflora incarnata. Got any of that?

Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Variegated Fritillary Larva

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 4:44PM
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tigerdawn(7)

That looks about right. It's a chrysalis now. I have pansies, Missouri violets, and little native viola things. Weirdly, the chrysalis is on a daylily leaf. I did find several other caterpillars on the little violas in the yard while I was pulling weeds last night.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:50PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

They are pretty butterflies, IMHO! Congrats on your cats! They have very pretty chrysalises, too. There has been a population explosion this year of these butterflies as well as Red Admirals, Mourning Cloaks, Question Marks, and others as well.

Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Variegated Fritillary butterfly

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 7:27AM
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tigerdawn(7)

How long do they stay in the chrysalis? I'd like to try to be there for the ..umm.. hatching?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:38PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Tiger Dawn, you can bring in the chrysalis and watch it. When I have raised caterpillars, and they go into their chrysalis, I move them to a mesh hamper that I keep out on my porch. I find that most of them hatch in the morning...you know, just about the time I need to leave for work :)

Let me see if I can find a pic of my set up. It's quite fancy! If you look close you will see a bag of dried beans being used as ballast! (I put the sticks in flower foam bricks to hold them up)

Lisa

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 3:26PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Ooh, Lisa, what a great idea for covering one of those mesh laundry hampers that don't zip close!

Variegated Frit chrysalises are very pretty, BTW! I am attaching a photo by our very own Sandy (butterflyok).

Susan

Here is a link that might be useful: Variegated Fritillary Chrysalis

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:22PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Oh, Susan, they are pretty!!! I went out looking tonight for the caterpillar, but he was hiding. I think I spied a gulf frit egg though on the p.caerulea. I'm hoping to get to raise a few this year, it was so much fun!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:01PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

I have found the best time to look for them is around 6pm and on, and in the early a.m. around 7am.

They hide during the day, feeding mostly at night. I haven't brought any in to raise myself. Too much going on with trying to get veggies started, transplanted, and other garden chores.

I have Gulf Frit eggs now, too, as I am sure you do. I have so many eggs/cats this year, it is hard to keep up with them - Monarch, Black Swallowtail, Red Admiral, Question Mark, Sleepy Orange, Hackberry Emperor and probably Tawny Emperor, too.

Are you growing veggies this year?

Susan

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 6:55AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I'm growing a few veggies. A couple tomatoes and peppers that I picked up at the Spring Fling. I planted them in a different spot, so I'll see if they do better in that part of the bed. I think I had them in too much shade.

I also found seeds for some of Seedmama's famous squashes in my seed stash, so I'm hoping to plant those this week.

(sorry to take over your thread, Tiger Dawn!) :)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:53AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

TigerDawn - I just now reread your post about the chrysalis on a Daylily leaf. Most butterflies wander before pupating, empty their gut (purging), and then fasten themselves to something other than their host plant, to shed their skin a final time to reveal the chrysalis. Many larvae can navigate great distances before they finally find a spot to pupate. That's not to say they don't ever pupate on the host plant, but generally speaking, they do tend to go "walk-about" in the garden.

OT - I'm growing about 10-12 Tomato plants, 5 peppers, several Okras (dwarf) in the ground, about 4 cukes, several squash (scallop, yellow, and Zuke), several bean varieties, a couple each of dwarf Watermelon, Canteloupe, and Pumpkin.

Susan

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 8:27AM
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