gldno1July 16, 2013

Where have all the butterflies gone?

This is about three years now that I have had very few butterflies. I still have flowers yet all I see are the white cabbage butterflies and l or 2 smaller types.

Do you all have them? If so please tell me what flowers you are seeing them on....I haven't grown many annuals for two years now.....maybe that is the issue.

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I've been seeing quite a few variegated frits and buckeyes on my verbena bonariensis but if they're at the peak, I have far less than normal. I've only spotted a swallowtail about three times this summer and have seen one Monarch, one Red Spotted Purple, and a couple Painted Ladies.
I've checked my mimosa tree for butterflies several times and I haven't seen a single one on it. I've seen as many as 20 swallowtails at a time nectaring on it in years past.
I haven't paid attention to when they start showing up in larger numbers. Hope it's just too early.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 8:55AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Early in the season I was seeing Mourning Cloak. I looked it up because I didn't remember having them before. I just went out to look and only saw brownish butterflies. I usually have lots of the black and blue ones. I did spy two big red heart tomatoes that I didn't see yesterday.
Glenda I doubt it is your lack of annuals - more likely too many dry years. I am not seeing wasps on my house. I usually have them under my soffit or what ever you call that on the roof.

Glenda get a big green cow poo and make a mud puddle, you will probably get some of those little grey blue butterflies. Two of the butterflies I saw were on dog poo - not a pleasing image.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:20AM
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I got plenty of green poo! and dog poo, not my dog. The neighbors dogs come use my yard at night................

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 4:23PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

My soaker hose had a hole and was spraying and wasting water. The mud did attract some black butterflies.

Watch out for striped blister beetles. I had a plague of them yesterday and sprayed them with pyrethrin. It killed a few hornworms I didn't know I had until I saw them writhing around. Striped blister beetles are faster at defoliation than the grey ones.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 1:10AM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Come to think of it, I haven't seen one butterfly that I can remember.

The rabbits seem to be gone and there are few squirrlels -- I think a neighbor shoots them. One morning this week, all my almost ripe peaches were absolutely gone. Don't know if it was four-legged varmits or two-legged. Next year I'm padlocking the drive gate during peach season.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:18AM
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Got lots of butterflies. Plenty of black swallowtails because I grow pipevine for the caterpillars, and even saw a kind of rare zebra swallowtail the other day, and all kinds of other butterflies.

But I don't use any insecticides at all that might kill the caterpillars, and I grow food plants just for them. The turtles get the slugs and cutworms, and there are plenty of birds also. The robins are always busy. I went on a slug hunt one night and found exactly five on the hostas in our acre, and two cutworms! Not exactly an invasion, lol!

Lots of moths, even luna moths, and clearwings, hummingbird moths, cecropias, and others.

In fact I think there may be more butterflies and moths than I have seen in recent years. Wasps and bees are everywhere, too, as well as other pollinators.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:36AM
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sunnyside1(z6/SW Mo.)

Sandy, I enjoyed your post. Good that you have butterflies and -- Luna Moths! -- (moan, bite my hand). You must have a paradise there -- glad you have bees, as well. Makes me think All Is Well.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:26PM
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I've had one little batch of Pipevine Swallowtail cats but never saw the mama. It's been a busy summer and I haven't been checking my fennel for black swallowtail cats. I have been checking occasionally for monarchs on my milkweed and none so far.
I didn't think any of my purple milkweed seedlings survived from last year but discovered one a couple weeks ago when I was pulling weeds. I think it must've come up very late.
I grew wafer ash from seed last year but never planted them. They're still in pots on my patio but hanging in there. I need to put them out this fall. I'm hoping Giant Swallowtails will use that as a host plant.

I'm jealous that you had a Zebra Swallowtail Sandy. None for me so far this summer but my itty bitty paw paw trees couldn't handle it anyway so it's just as well.

Sunny - That's sad news about your peaches. I bet you were looking forward to those.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 9:48PM
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joeinmo 6b-7a

Monsanto roundup is killing bees and butterflies nationwide, not only the spray on variety, but also the GMO crops with the pesticide built in.

I have planted milkweed to help Monarchs, have only seen a couple black swallowtails, no tiger or zebras.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 5:47PM
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