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The Phantom Strikes Again!

Posted by misssherry Z8/9MS (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 13, 12 at 20:10

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The mock-bishop's weed is just starting to grow back, helped along by the heavy weekend rains, and there's no where near enough to support the four black swallowtail cats I found on this sprig and the one I found on another. As usual, I didn't see the Mama. :/

The three tiger eggs on the Ptelea trifoliata have hatched, so I'm seeing tiger hatchlings for the first time. They have spikes on their heads like giant swallowtails, and, like giants, they'll undoubtedly disappear after the first molt. You can see they're tigers by the white saddle. I cut out the part of the leaf they're on and put these pieces on some nice wild black cherry in a cage. There's not enough Ptelea for the giants, much less for the giants AND the tigers - most of the giants are eating rue - but there's PLENTY of wild black cherry around here. I find more tigers on that host plant than any other and have raised quite a few on it, so I know they eat and thrive on it.

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Sherry


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

Great photo of the hatchlings, Sherry. After reading your other post, I got busy and planted my trifoliata that I've had in a pot for a couple of years. I found a couple of dozen Spicebush cats/eggs today. I'll be looking for sassafras to feed these. And I've got Black Swallowtail eggs all over the place. Never saw a mom, either. It's a busy year.

Sandy


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

Sandy, I wish you'd send your BST momma my way. I've got tons of dill, rue, fennell and parsley, and other than the six chrysalides I have now, I haven't seen another egg, baby, caterpillar, or momma. I did find a lone monarch cat this week, and have moved him into an enclosure for safe keeping. I continue to sporadically find variegated frit cats - I have three pupating now. I've had more tigers than anything - but just nectaring as I have nothing in my yard planted for a host plant yet. I do have a tiny baby mexican plum tree I got from Wild Things, but it's still in a pot because I'm not sure where I want it yet. Ho hum... I hope I get a little more action in the egg laying, caterpillar raising dept or this is going to be a long boring summer for me.

~Laura


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

The three tiger cats have moved off their piece of Ptelea leaf onto the wild black cherry and are eating. I always sweat it when I transfer hatchlings. Now I just hope the black swallowtail cats will transition to the rue - they're beyond the hatchling stage, so they might not want to switch so easily.

Which reminds me, I think I'll spread some chicken manure around the mock-bishop's weed - they just LOVE that stuff!

Sherry


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

laura,

I share. Email me at butterflymombixby@y-hoodotcom. I'll be glad to give you some of my eggs/cats.

Sandy


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

Sandy, it happens to me everytime I say something on here. Right after commenting that I hadn't seen a swallowtail and had no eggs or babies... here she came! I have babies and eggs now! Yay!

~Laura


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

Congrats, Laura! She's beautiful, and so are your host plants!

Sherry


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

That's fantastic! And your photo is great. It is such a busy year. I found E Tiger Swallowtail eggs on a small Sweetbay Magnolia I planted this summer! So excited! I can't reach the eggs on the Tulip tree or the Wild Cherry, but this tree is only 3 feet tall.

Sandy


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

Laura...glad she showed up for you & what a great picture!!!
I have way too many BST cats & had planted some Zizia that I didn't realize had come up. I wasn't even sure if it was Z.aurea but I put a few leaves inside my BST box & when they ran out of parsley & fennel...they ate it. It's leaves are somewhat "leathery" so I guess they will only eat it when there isn't anything else. The leaves are big & most of my parsley has bounded & doesn't have a lot of leaves left...mostly seeds. I actually saw a very tattered BST mama laying more eggs on my fennel yesterday!
Miss Sherry...I think I figured out why my MBW doesn't have flowers & looks different than the pics I see online...I think it actually is Bifora americana...Prairie Bishop's Weed. I keep finding more cats on it out in my meadow as well! I'm leaving a lot out because I am quickly running out of food for them & want to save my rue in case I get GSTs!


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

Lila, I don't know how rue grows under your Texas conditions, but here, as soon as I clip off a sprig of it, it grows back. The butterflies like to lay eggs on new growth, and today I watched as a GST laid one on the rue in my front yard area.

I'll have to look up prairie bishop's weed to see what it looks like and read all about it.

Sherry


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

Congrats to everyone on their little ones! The Tigers I have found use the Wild Black Cherry, too, MissSherry! None this year so far. They are very sluggish cats, too. I think they need some energy drink to speed up their metabolism!

Mama BST has been back this week laying eggs on the Fennel. I found a last instar cat on some Fennel I had planted in a pot by the driveway. I had not found any cats on it either last year or this year so far, so was surprised to see it.

I have lots of Gulf Frit cats in the garden, too! They are just too beautiful for words. Those silvery spotted undersides catch the sunlight and are so pretty and unmistakably Gulf Frit.

I see Monarchs off and on, but no eggs or cats yet, unless something is eating them.

My Purple Milkweeds are just growing gangbusters this year. Unlike a lot of milkweeds, they have held their lower leaves all the way to ground level. I guess they like their location.......finally!

I am attaching a photo of my human baby....Charlotte. Finally got her pics uploaded.

Susan


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

What a darling little doll, Susan!

And congrats on your butterflies and caterpillars!

Sherry


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

Thanks, MissSherry We think she's a cutie, too.

Susan


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RE: The Phantom Strikes Again!

Aaaaah, can't believe I missed this photo of Charlotte. She is soooo cute. Thanks for telling me to check out this post, Susan.

Sandy


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