Post by Veggie Gal on Jun 11, 2015 18:59:30 GMT -5
We have several Monarch's flying around today. Only a few caterpillar's on the plants. My DH is standing watch over the chrysalis, we have 4 that he can find. He can't stand that there may be more, he thinks there hiding from him.....haha..........One was hanging under the outdoor fireplace mantel and he noticed a hummingbird near by, next thing he knew the chrysalis had a hole in it and was leaking green goo. Later it was laying on the hearth. We think the hummer poked a hole in him. I see the hummer buzzing around the fireplace and I think it's looking for another chrysalis. There is another one close by but we hope the hummer can't find it. Very interesting and we love this thread.........Thank Steve !!!!!
Post by desertwoman on Jun 11, 2015 21:24:14 GMT -5
Butterflies are slow around here, this year. I haven't seen a monarch yet or Painted lady. Just a few white ones and a couple of small white ones with blue tinge. I guess if I am going to stick around this thread I should get an ID book.
Northern New Mexico Zone 6b (formerly Zone 5) Posting since 2005
I've been seeing painted ladies but they are so much smaller than the ones of years past...no monarchs yet. Did see a blk swallowtail. Last year I only saw one monarch...I have left all of the milkweed in My gardens, planted butterfly friendly plants but minimal butterfly activity. ????
"a hummingbird near by..." Intersting observation! Try as I did, I found no reference to hummers attacking a chrysalis. Caterpillars, yes, But lists of things they eat are all small (obviously) mites, aphids, etc. It seems penetrating a chrysalis might be more than a small beak could handle. But it sure would be a good question for a bird person. And I think you've seen the mentions of "tenting" the chrysalis with cheesecloth? All in all, I'm impressed with your success and dedication; you are just experiencing the usually unseen dark side of the butterfly life cycle, but with several survivors taking flight to join the migration, that's pretty cool.
New Mexico Butterflies: a photo gallery! Lists of names are not a good way to start; nothing will mean anything until you get some sense of what things look like, so I located this page that could be helpful for the summer. Butterflies are grouped into six Families with funny "real real names but always with a common name that will be understood in all parts (unlike plants with common names that can be different from state to state!) Chances are good that your white one is a Cabbage White (small black dot on each wing). Watch for blue ones (very much like the Karner Blue) hanging around bean plants! They like clover, seems any Fabaceae would be fair game.
Trichogramma Wasps The reverse of the tachinid fly, these are helpful, killing the tomato horn worm. I found that you can buy cartons of wasps to protect your garden.
"hummers motivation is knowing it's 'competition'?" Interesting question. But while looking for info on hummers attacking a chrysalis, I fond many many pages devoted to creating a garden to host both hummers and butterflies! So that doesn't mean the hummers don't poke into a chrysalis from time to time, just that nobody seems to mention it.
•• Anyone interested in finding out what butterflies live near you , start with this regional checklist. on ButterfliesandMoths, That site also has an image gallery. Edit to Add: The best butterfly ID books are titled Butterflies through Binoculars, West or East. The best price is to get a used copy from Amazon. The one for East is about $5 ; for the West, $10. Excellent photos, you will enjoy looking at the variety. General regions of the states are marked for each species to refine your browsing. Why is the western copy twice the price? No idea, but well worth the $10.00!
My attempt at an ID of the top photo is a Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes). Where's another photo that sort of matches the underwing view of yours.
I think that could well be correct. Interestingly I was looking at some pictures of the larval stage of this and see that it mimics bird droppings. I've actually been picking off quite a few of these bird dropping caterpillars from one of my lime trees in the past few months. I guess I should have left a few on them. I was thinking they were some moth larvae or something that perhaps I wouldn't notice too much.
Post by lilolpeapicker on Jun 13, 2015 8:34:32 GMT -5
What joy it is to look through these pictures! I have never seen many of these before, mostly the different relatives of the more well known butterflies. They are so pretty. I will have to get my radar working as soon as I get outside this morning.
Have a great gardening day! hoe, hoe, hoe Pea Upstate NY, zone 5
This where I say "I love Pieris in the Springtime!" (groan!) Interesting that you described smaller bluish-whites and I had another candidate in mind. But seeing the ones called Marbled, those would be bigger, and marked with gray (the marbling), so Rieris it is for now. That is the Cabbage White in common terms.
I also just found this page about butterflies in Arizona that should be close to the same stuff you'd'd look for. Good photo examples and a list of plants that attract visitors.