Need White Sapote Leaves for Giant Swallowtails - Any to spare?

KSOhioSeptember 10, 2012

We have some Giant Swallowtail caterpillars going to hatch but have nothing but rue to raise them on, which they don't seem to do too well on. White Sapote is supposed to be one of the best foods, but we have no way to get a plant with enough leaves. So I thought of asking here if anyone has a few dozen leaves that have not been sprayed with anything to spare (if they will last in shipment for few days?), or a few small twigs with leaves. I'd be happy to reimburse for costs and shipment (whatever can be stuck inside a Priority Mail box or what not).

I'm not sure of the nature of these leaves and if they will hold up without wilting for a few days, but they seem to be the type that would.

Any other ideas, suggestions or advice is welcome!

Thanks!

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gnappi

I don't think you'll have much luck there. I trimmed my white sapote last week and the leaves wilt really fast. I doubt caterpillars will eat wilted salad that's been limp for days.

I find it odd that a species from Ohio would thrive on a non native tropical tree from central America?

I found this on a casual search of the web on my first hit:

Black Swallowtail Caterpillars eat Golden Alexanders (above), Wild Carrots, Celery, Parsley and Dill.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 5:00PM
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stanofh

Wilt-and rot. Even in Dry California pruned leaves get a mold within a couple of days..thanks GNAPPI..its not my imagination!
Funny-but I noticed those big butterfly's early this summer..hadn't seen them for years. Great to learn that too!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 3:18PM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

Those are two different swallowtail species. The Giant swallowtail cats eats on citrus and sapote, I have both and they do prefer the sapote to citrus.
The other swallowtail you are discussing is not the giant, but rather just the black. I grow fennel for them, which they love.
It is a smaller butterfly, but rivals the beauty of the Giant.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 2:05PM
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sapote(10a)

" they do prefer the sapote to citrus. "

Interesting since they said the sapote was originally from citrus family -- just look at the seed; very much the same except much much bigger

Sapote

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 8:18PM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

It must be the taste of the leaves Sapote? I have no idea why, but they don't touch my lemons, but go nuts for the white sapote. Pic of caterpillar
(they look like bird doo) on the branch back in 2011

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 10:47AM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

Here's a picture of a Giant swallowtail sitting on the snail vine (about 10 feet from sapote) from it's very first flight and subsequent landing. Sorry shot not so great, but at least people can see what they look like :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 10:48AM
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sapote(10a)

I have yet seen a single caterpillar of any kind on my big tree. Maybe since California is an agriculture state and most pest were "fenced" off. (it's amazing to me how could they (government) even achieved this on a vast piece of land.)

Sapote

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 5:23PM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

Now you made me look up their range. Here it is:
(Maybe this is why you don't see them Sapote) :)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 6:01PM
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