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Birds, Butterflies & Botany Message Board Butterflies › Butterfly Newsletter from Lilly

Butterfly Newsletter from Lilly

Winter Springs, FL
Post #: 31
Hello there Nature Lovers,

Its me the long lost Lilly

I'm soooo sorry I haven't been to any meetups lately. My life has been a roller coaster ride lately. Our Ashley has been doing a magnificent job of keeping interesting things scheduled. Thanks a million Ashley~! Though I have been absent I am still ever engrossed in my butterfly activities.

Guess what, today for the first time I had a Common Buckeye nectaring on Lantana~! They are sooo gorgeous and sure don't look common. Three Zebra Longwings emerged from gold flecked chrysalides hanging in my garden today. I simply adore the Zebra Longwing, they are so awesome to watch fluttering around with their long striped wings. I discovered what kinds of flowers they love the most so listen up. They love small purple flowers loaded with nectar like the Duranta (dewdrop) and Porterweed.

To keep them multiplying you need to have a passionflower vine, that is their host. I have heard if the vine is grown in the shade you will get more Zebras than Gulf Fritillary. Otherwise the Gulfs take over. I love the Gulfs too though, they are so delicate and orangy pretty with their silver spots flashing underneath. They will nectar on just about any flower but passionflower vine is their host. I have read that the Gulfs are not particular about which passiflora they use but the Zebras will only use certain ones. I need to get the specifics on that.

I always have many regal Black Swallowtails in various stages cycling through my hands from egg to emerging butterflies. I love raising these on parsley and fennel right on my screened porch and in the garden. The wasps will get them outside though so I bring most of them into the screened porch to raise. Its pleasant to watch the females outside continuously laying her eggs on the fennel.

A gorgeous and huge Tiger Swallowtail has been visiting my flowers. I have some knockout pictures of it. Let's see what else.... The Monarchs have left my milkweed alone long enough for them to fully leaf back out. Recently one Monarch laid several eggs on them but only one made it to adulthood, the wasps got the rest. That cat left yesterday to go pupate. Earlier this summer though I cycled through over 50 Monarchs from egg to butterfly.

I get alot of Spicebush Swallowtails on my flowers. You can easily confuse them with the Black Swallowtails but I've got the hang of identifying them now. In fact the background picture for our meetup shows a female Spicebush Swallowtail. I had originally called it a female Black Swallowtail.

The various Sulphurs are always swirling around a Cassia tree still in the pot in my yard. They lay eggs but the wasps always get the caterpillars though. When I plant the tree and it gets big they will have more of a chance of hiding and making it to adulthood. I also get misc Skippers and there was even an Oleander eater nectaring in my yard today. Lastly, I bought a Paw Paw tree and I hope to attract the holy grail of butterflies in our area, the Zebra Swallowtail~! (no not Zebra Longwing) OMG I would freak out if I ever saw one~!

The Giant Swallowtail is always flitting around my yard since we have citrus trees, that is their host. The Giants are so utterly gorgeous they knock your socks off to witness them nectaring on your flowers. I still have never seen a Palamedes Swallowtail, I need to get a spicebush or one of the bays that they host on.

So that's my butterfly newsletter folks. I hope to see you soon, oh yes, at the hummingbird meetup I will see you for sure. I am going to schedule my own meetup here shortly. Go to our message board and add your own butterfly journal for us to read ya hear. Start yourself a new thread.

Butterfly Blessings,

Winter Springs, FL
Post #: 37
Looks like a female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, good for you~! I have a ton of great butterfly photos I have taken in my garden.
Winter Springs, FL
Post #: 47
Greetings Fellow Nature Lovers~!

Long time no see, well since the Scrub Jay Hike that is. We need to get together again. How has the butterflies been treating you lately?

I got my first Great Purple Hairstreak (GPH)~! It was nectaring on a Sweet Almond bush that I still have in its pot sitting in my container garden area. He was so absorbed with the flowers that you could have reached out and picked him up. You should see the odd way they move their wings together like rubbing your hands. As I stood there watching him a gorgeous Tiger Swallowtail flitted in to nectar. I felt like I was among friends.

I have about 13 Black Swallowtails (BST) in chrysalis form at the moment and Monarchs too. The Monarchs stripped my milkweed again but that's okay, they are partners. It will grow right back. I even love the orange and black milkweed bugs, they are all partners.

The butterflies have not been emerging from their chrysalides on time (within ten days) like they did in the summer. I just had two male Black Swallowtails emerge today after 16 long days. Another one that should have emerged with them hasn't. So I learned that cooler weather makes them stay in there longer.

I have been seeing less butterflies as Fall marches on towards Winter. I haven't seen a Giant Swallowtail (GST) in a long time and my Zebra Longwings have deserted me too but they'll be back. I have citrus trees and passion flower in my yard. smile The skippers and the Sphinx Moths are always loyal. I found out one of mine is called the Mournful Sphinx. Here is an interesting article about how they are sending butterflies up into space. Click on this link:


I have been incorporating more and more native plants into my landscape for green spiritedness and for the butterflies~! After all native plants are their host for the most part. Yes BST feed on parsley, dill and fennel but they have their native plants too. I got some seeds in the mail for Virginia Snakeroot which is a native pipevine.

So how is it going for you? Write and tell me but also add to the thread in our message boards~!

Butterfly Blessings,

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