Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Just when I thought I was out....

Posted by terrene 5b MA (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 30, 11 at 15:00

They pull me back in!! LOL

On Tuesday morning I released the last Monarch. Have 2 Black Swallowtails and 7 Spicebush swallowtails in chrysalises that are going to over-winter, but thought butterfly-rearing season was over.

Went out to the garden later Tuesday afternoon, to look at the Foxgloves, and noticed something was eating the top of one of the Rue plants. Look down, a 5th instar Black swallowtail cat! Brought him inside, and he pupated this morning. He will no doubt overwinter along with his friends, I assume.

So now I REALLY think butterfly rearing season is over. But no! I go out to the garden a little while ago, and notice the tattered Great Spangled Fritillary that has been nectaring on the Zinnias and Tithonia the past few days. It's nice to see a butterfly because it's pretty quiet now. Then she flys over to a wild garden, and goes down to a patch of violets. She starts crawling over the violets. I bend down to look closer and she's ovipositing!!

I found 3 eggs. They are kind of yellow-orange. I know next to nothing about their life cycle, although they must overwinter here somehow. Anybody have any advice on raising these?? What have I gotten myself into, lol.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Just when I thought I was out....

I can't give you any advice or help on raising great spangled frits from personal experience, but I can copy this from The Butterflies of West Virginia and Their Caterpillars by Thomas J. Allen -
"Oviposition by females usually begins in August and continues until the individual dies. Eggs are deposited singly on or near violet plants. Once the larvae hatch, about 4 weeks later, they crawl to a protected site in the leaf litter and diapause until spring. The larvae feed on the young violet leaves in spring."
I'd be stoked if I had the great spangled fritillary life cycle going on in my garden! Congrats, congrats!

RE: Just when I thought I was out....

Thanks MissSherry. I looked at the Massachusetts Butterfly Club website and it says "Flight Period: June 13 - October 8 (mainly late June to early September)", and "Overwintering: Unfed 1st instar - Larva". Hmmmm.

Maybe I should put the eggs back out in the violets so the hatchlings can overwinter in the appropriate habitat.

This butterfly thing really does pull you in!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here