Where are the Gulf Frits?

cynthianovakJuly 5, 2011

Happy 4th to y'all

I have huge passion flowers and tons of foliage but haven't seen a single fritilari this year. HAve had some of the giant swallowtails: both the black with blue and the tigers.

Have had some monarchs and cabbage whites and the little guys but I'm sure missing the frits...are they dining in your gardens?

thanks

c

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PKponder TX(7b)

I haven't seen any this year and we had lots last summer! On the bright side, I should have blooms on the passi this summer!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 5:56AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I can't remember seeing so few butterflies in my San Antonio yard. "Few" implies seeing some, but other than a couple of sightings early spring there are none -- nada.

I saw one, maybe two, Gulf frits early in the year and something was eating the blue crown passion vine, but the caterpillars never matured as the 'damage' to the vine stopped.

I have LOTS of pipe vine and fennel and they haven't been touched. I have not seen even one skipper, tiger, cabbage white, painted lady, monarch, viceroy, sulfer, or anything else.

I even knocked down all the paper wasp nests knowing there just were not enough caterpillars to support them. I usually let a few stay to take care of the webworms in the pecan trees. I imagine that because of the dry weather wasps pretty much cleaned out what caterpillars there were in the uninhabited areas around here.

On the butterfly forum they are talking about the scarcity of butterflies in other parts of the country too. Some say it is because of too much rain.

It will probably take a couple of wet years in southwest Texas for the butterfly population to recover from this drought. When there is something for them to eat in the wild they will eventually drift in from the wetter gulf states.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 10:59AM
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loonie1(TX7b)

I've had very few butterflies so far this year, and not a single GF as yet. :-(

Carla in Rowlett, TX

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 12:21PM
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linda_tx8(8)

They were here a bit in spring, then started disappearing. Last month I saw one for a short while, then it was gone also.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:42AM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Mine are a no show too. I also had them early on. My passi is untouched. I'm figuring they were flying along when the extreme heat combined with the friction of thier wings against the air caused them to burst into flame and crash. Maybe next year will be a bit less brutal.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 6:33PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I saw one at Seamommy's house yesterday. They are really scarce this year. I'm inclined to agree with Roselee that it is weather related.

Pam

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 5:12AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

I'm seeing them on the gold lantana. Not as many as last year, but it just started blooming. I'll try to get a picture up soon.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 11:26AM
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linda_tx8(8)

I just happened find a late-instar GF caterpillar today on my Maypop. Am bringing it in to raise in a container. Most likely it's parasitized (and won't survive to be a butterfly if it is), but just in case it is okay in that way, I'll protect it. Will have to look around for more of these. Evidently, that last GF I saw was a female and left eggs.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:28PM
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denisew(z8 TX)

I'm still waiting for them to show up in my garden. They're usually a mid-summer butterfly. I've had plenty of swallowtails and the smaller butterflies though. I even had some swallowtail cats on my fennel, but I think a bird or wasps got them because one day they were there and the next they were gone.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:44PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I saw a Gulf fritillary just now -- Yea!

Check out this article from the thread linked below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/science/12butterfly.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

Here is a link that might be useful: Where are the butterflies ...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 11:52AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I saw a mama fluttering around last night and a small cat! I guess they are just later than I was remembering from last year.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 2:28PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I have three cats that I found, but not 100% sure that this is a GF. Can someone ID, please? I remembered black legs.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 10:34AM
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cynthianovak

I've seen a few of the giant tiger swallow tails and some various little guys. Had a couple of the big black swallow tails...I guess a few of the cats made it. There were at least a dozen cats devouring my dill and suddenly they were all gone at once.

no frits yet

c

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 2:05PM
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