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Finally!

Posted by misssherry Z8/9SE MS (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 16:57

I've been hoping for gulf fritillaries, but haven't seen any all year, until today, that is! I had gone out to the garden with my shovel in hand to do some work, but got side tracked when I saw what was obviously a female (very tawny) gulf frit. She nectared, nectared, basked, and nectared some more, mostly on the Sonset lantana. She went to this passionflower and nectared on it briefly -

 photo PassionflowerinJuly_zps8672080c.jpg

I got a picture of her on it, but her wings were closed, and you couldn't really see her. She ventured toward some leaves just above the flower, but I couldn't see if she laid an egg or even her body position while she was there. I couldn't find an egg. Then she went back to nectaring, nectaring, basking and nectaring some more.

It may be that she's been traveling for a long time without any liquid nourishment and needed to regain her strength - butterflies gain energy from the sun as well as nectar. I hope she stays and lays me a lot of eggs soon!

I got these pictures of her -

 photo FemaleGFinJuly_zpse2f05170.jpg

 photo FemaleGFinJuly2_zps4a97ec68.jpg

Sherry


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Finally!

I'm drooling! :)


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RE: Finally!

That's cool! You don't seem to live too far from me (I'm in southeast LA), and I don't usually see Gulf frits around here until about September or so. They do seem to really like the lantana here. :)

Those little orange and white bodies always remind me of Nemo the fish.


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RE: Finally!

Alex928, I usually start seeing them in June.

Catherine, I am drooling! Nothing says summer and lots of butterflies like gulf frits!

I went back out in the garden to do the work I'd originally intended to do, brought my ladder, went through the leaves where she might have laid an egg, and found an egg!

 photo GFEgginJuly_zpsf5104a84.jpg

I cropped the picture way down, so you could see the 'corn cob' that they lay - all it needs is butter and salt! :)

I've never known a gulf frit to lay just one egg. I didn't go out the first time until pretty late in the day, so she may have laid eggs earlier. Finding them will be difficult, because I have so much passionvine - finding the cats will be easier. Hopefully, she'll be back tomorrow!

Sherry


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RE: Finally!

I was just thinking it looked like a little ear of corn. Congrats on the egg, or maybe eggs!


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LOL......I was going to say the same thing about the little ear of corn, until I read further. Cool!


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RE: Finally!

I spotted a female yesterday and a male today, it's officially summer. I read that they all die off in cooler climates each winter; butterflies, cats and eggs. I guess the cold winter and cool spring kept them south of us til now.

I did find a couple of Varigated chrysalis, not sure what the white on this one is.

This post was edited by rickinla on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 12:24


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RE: Finally!

That looks more like a gulf frit chrysalis than a variegated frit .Gulf frits typically have a white thing near the spot where they attach themselves.

Here's a picture of a typical VF chrsyalis, part brown, part white, with the pretty orange gold projections -

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

And here's a picture of a couple of rare (for me) mostly white VF chrysalides -

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Sherry


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RE: Finally!

Well I guess I had a Gulf Frittilary visitor and didn't see her and none of the Varigated Frittilary eggs made it. It would be nice to see a VF chrysalis, they're pretty neat; I need to bring them in as eggs.


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RE: Finally!

Well I guess I had a Gulf Frittilary visitor and didn't see her and none of the Varigated Frittilary eggs made it. It would be nice to see a VF chrysalis, they're pretty neat; I need to bring them in as eggs.


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RE: Finally!

My female gulf frit has been laying eggs at the rate of about two a day - she didn't lay any for a couple of days when it rained or sprinkled all day long. I've been bringing them in to raise myself. Gulf frits grow quickly, so you get to see the adult much sooner than you do with swallowtails.

A male showed up today. I suspect he's not her mate, because he has the beautiful dark coloring of a newly emerged male gulf frit -

 photo MaleGFonHamandEggs_zpsfdedc48c.jpg

Sherry


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RE: Finally!

I'm so jealous. Lol Hoping to see some caterpillars on my Passion Flower some time, some day.


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That would make a beautiful picture for your wall. You have a great camera. You should enlarge that and frame it. Its fantastic!

Jane


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RE: Finally!

I hope you get some caterpillars on your passion flower, too, Protego!

Thanks, Jane! I love this new camera, it's great!

Sherry


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Thank you so very much Sherry! I want that hope! :-D Lol


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RE: Finally!

So much for not seeing any Gulf frits until fall. I just saw my first one today! It landed on the gravel, but unfortunately I was walking nearby at the same time and inadvertently scared it off, but apparently they ARE around. Or at least one anyway. :)


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RE: Finally!

I'm glad you finally saw one, alex928!

My female continues to lay more and more eggs. I'm raising 6 in cages, 3 hatchlings in one cage and 3 'big' ones in the other. The big ones were extremely tiny just a couple of days ago. No caterpillar grows like a gulf frit cat!

I'll be bringing in more, probably today. It's such a joy to raise gulf frits! Passionvine stays fresh in water for so long, and they grow so fast!

Sherry


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RE: Finally!

I noticed that my gulf fritillary cryalysis (sp?) is very different from yours? Mine's all brown? I will have to post a pic of it. I have a question about the lantanas. I have one but it isnt blooming, just growing leaves. I love the colors you have on yours. I should get some colorful ones. I have all white but isn't blooming this year. Last year it was blooming a lot! Maybe just time to throw it out and get new ones?


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Wow, those are beautiful! Wish they lived here in PA. What kind of camera is that, those are great pics!

Cathy


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Here's a pic of the butterfly.


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Here is the chrysalis. How come it's different?


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Angelimperfect, my chrysalides look just like yours, although the one in your picture must have just made its chrysalis, being so pale. The pictures I posted were of variegated fritillary, not gulf fritillary, chrsyalides.

I just found two more little bitty cats, and I brought them in to raise.

Sherry


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Do u house them all together to raise along with other cats??

Christina

This post was edited by angelimperfect36 on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 16:28


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RE: Finally!

No, as a matter of fact, I've got the big ones in their own cage, and the little ones in another. I'm sure you could raise them with other types of caterpillars, I've done it with many different types before, but I have enough cages that they can each have their own. It's more important to separate them according to size, so the big ones don't eat the hatchlings. I don't think they're cannibalistic, but if a tiny hatchling happens to be on a leaf they want to eat.......

Sherry


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RE: Finally!

I noticed a few Gulf Fritillary cats today, they look to be about third instar. There's probably others that I've overlooked since I didn't see these til now.


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