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Today's headcount

Posted by gardenfanatic MO zone5b (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 11, 10 at 21:50

I FINALLY have a headcount! I was starting to think it would never happen. Had bunches of monarch eggs/tiny cats in June, but something must've eaten them because they all suddenly disappeared. I've got lots of milkweed that's been waiting for some monarchs. Finally started seeing monarchs in the yard again, and now have 3 cats munching (at least that I can see). The plants are thick out there, so I'm hoping there are some cats I can't see.

I've also got 4 buckeye cats. One on one snapdragon and 3 on another. I've only got 2 snapdragon plants, and I'm concerned that one little snapdragon isn't enough food for 3 cats. Does anyone know if they'll eat verbena bonariensis?

I've got lots of pearly everlastings out there, but no American lady cats. :-(

And I never got my rue, fennel, and dill planted, so I don't have anything for swallowtails. :-( I've never seen GST's in my yard before, but I'm seeing them this year on the tithonias. Yay! Just wish I had something for them to lay eggs on! The hummers are going for the tithonias too, so that one will be in the garden every year from now on.

I don't have many cats compared to a lot of you, but I'm excited! :-) Next year I'll get those swallowtail hosts planted.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Today's headcount

Congrats Deanna!
You should have no trouble attracting Black Swallowtails if you plant rue, fennel and dill. You'll be glad you planted them.

If you any have weeds in your yard, there's a good chance that you have plantain. In my yard, the buckeye cats like the narrowleaf(Buckhorn) better than broadleaf. The botanical name is plantago lanceolata. If you ran around barefoot when you were little, you might remember the seedheads getting caught between your toes. : )
If you look around and can't find any, I could probably mail you some. It's so hot right now though, it might melt on the way there.

Here is a link that might be useful: plantago lanceolata

RE: Today's headcount

I think I'm at an all time high with the monarchs, at one time.
7 chrysalids
16 caterpillars
3 eggs
I could've had a hell of alot more eggs, but I'm going on vacation on the 21st and have too much as it is to dump on a coworker that I got started on monarchs. He's my partner in crime, and has his own stash to deal with. Over the weekend, I passed up soooooo many eggs that I watched a female lay. Then off in the tree I saw a mating pair. Hopefully I'll come home to a fresh batch of eggs to continue what may be my best monarch year ever. I did cut off all of my milkweed blooms, to hopefully keep the wasps away and give some of those eggs a chance.

Not too much heartache with the monarchs. My very first cat went to chrysalid but never eclosed (found, possibly 3rd instar), and a few eggs never hatched.

The BST count hasn't been nearly as high as it was last year, but I'm honestly not trying with them. Had too many parasite issues last year, although I did purchase a few plants and do currently have 5 caterpillars, I think. I have quite a few overwintered chrysalids that haven't eclosed and I fear won't. Just more heartache...

I'm happy to have a good head count, finally. Compared to some people here, I have nothing, LOL. But, every little bit helps. Congrats on your counts!

RE: Today's headcount

Other Buckeye host plants include: Gerardia, Ruellia, Plantago, Diascia, Castilleja (Indian Paintbrush), Butterfly Bush (questionable), and Toadflax (Linaria).


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