I assume "if they are native" refers to the plants? Parsley and Dill are both Apiaceae, the carrot family, and certainly those grow in California. It's the Black Swallowtail that doesn't fly here! In fact it's called the Eastern Black Swallowtail. I like its taxonomic name, Papilio_polyxenes. Now I have to decipher "polyxenes" which sounds like iy could mean "many orogins", based on xenophobia: irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries. But I doubt the butterflies are plagued by such a narrow point of view. UPDATE: Polyxena: (Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a daughter of King Priam of Troy, who was sacrificed on the command of Achilles' ghost Side note: Many many butterflies carry names from mythology because butterflies became a subject of interest to the wealthy explorers of the 18th century who had classical educations in Latin and Greek, a handy toolkit when needing a romantic name for a new butterfly.
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carrotota) is a non-native member of the same family that growes nearly everywhere as a volunteer. It's not a bad looking plant, and anything in the carrot family could beckon the swallowtails we have in California. Here is a page of Apiaceae in Orange County, CA.
Post by Veggie Gal on May 27, 2015 17:12:16 GMT -5
We are now proud owners of 4 big Milkweed plants and they have 9 caterpillars on them. We had more but they must be somewhere in the cocoon stage. Can't wait to see the Monarch's after they come out of the cocoons. We hope they stay around. We are learning more about the Monarch butterfly and it's habits. Very interesting.
Brown, we have dill and parsley. I can grow a lot of parsley but my dill doesn't grow well for me. Not sure why, I have a lot of seed going and nothing yet.
Our Monarch's are very productive. We lost count of how many caterpillars we've had. Many have entered the cocoon stage. We've watched several caterpillars crawl around our stone wall until they found the right place to start the cocoon process. It's a lengthy trip from the Milkweed plant to where they want to start the process. All things must be perfect for them, then they hang upside down and stay that way for a day or so and then they are a green cocoon. It's very interesting and so far one has became the butterfly. It flew around the Milkweed and other plants in the garden for hours, then it was gone. We are watching all the other cocoons to hopefully see them open and stretch out and fly. We've had other Monarch's and realize they might be from our caterpillars. Nature is wonderful....
I have had dozens of black swallowtail caterpillars which look like the Monarch caterpillars only smaller. I have never seen one of them cocoon. I don't know where they go but I would love to see a cocoon. I am envious of yours.
To fine-tine this a bit, butterflies come out of a chrysalis (hardened protein), moths from a cocoon (spun silk). Thinking "cocoon" made me curious, so " from French cocon, from medieval Provençal coucoun ‘eggshell. " chrysalis" is basically just what the Greeks named it, it stuck!
It's fun to follow the progress from planting those few milkweeds. Thanks.
Alas, no. I have not seen that so I looked for info. Turns out it's a sign that the thing has been "parasitized by the Tachinid Fly.". Here's the bad news: tinyurl.com/p5xyezv It's a creepy zombie-type story! Be sure to read to the last comment: I"f you find your Monarch pupa has been parasitized by a Tachinid Fly, destroy it immediately by placing the chrysalis and anything else that comes out into a plastic baggy and freezing it. Keep it sealed when disposing the dead Monarch so that if the fly does eclose*, it won't be able to escape into your garden".
On a brighter note, here's a page about raising Monarchs that might be of use: tinyurl.com/ok6ta8t
I'd never heard of that fly, so I guess now we know more about how Nature works. But wait, there's more: *Eclose? I thought it a typo ( I make plenty of those) but since I copy/pasted it, I checked the webpage and that is the correct word: eclose means "(of an insect) emerge as an adult from the pupa or as a larva from the egg."
Steve, thanks again for the additional info. I thought my poor husband was going to have a stroke after reading and saving the websites to his computer. Especially when he read that only 1 to 5% of the cocoons make it to a Monarch Butterfly. He is happy to have more information because his search on google didn't turn up these sites. These sites are very informational. As sad as he was about the one cocoon he found 6 more caterpillars this morning. Nature keeps moving on...........
Here's something else to watch for: Painted Ladies! It's another butterfly that migrates. The Vanessa cardui, common name Painted Lady, is found all over the US, and migrates periodically in "swarms". The Monarch gets all the attention, but Painted Lady migrations are interesting to experience and probably overlooked by most.
I was checking for info to see if there were any reports yet for 2015? Answer: yes! Already seen weeks ago in Davis by Art Shapiro. tinyurl.com/nczdlgn
Background I got interested in butterflies a few years ago, took a few photos and discovered that to ID a butterfly gets as tricky as any wildflower. I wrote to Shapiro's website (having no idea who he was, just that he was at nearby UC Davis; I have attended some workshops for wildflower identification.)
Not only did I get an immediate answer, we ended up chatting frequently. I even ran across him obe day when I visited Gates Canyon (mentioned in the linked article.)
So from the sounds of it, PLs (as my b-i-l has taken to calling them) are flying in or near Newport Beach. A medium-sized butterfly, they can show up as visitors to my small gargen, or ,in big numbers, flying about five feet off the ground and all speeding southwest (ot wherever, depending...) I have stood in the local, mountains and just enjoyed being in their way for minutes of fly-by.
I'm going to start a new thread, right here in Native Plants, to add a few pictures of PLs and alert people all over to keep their eyes open. If they're here in CA now, maybe Iowa next month?