Butterfly Gardening and Conservation Blog
September 30, 2003
caterpillars - 9/30
It's rainy out and it's getting kind of cold too, so at this point there are not many adult butterflies flying around. Just an occasional Painted Lady or maybe a Monarch.
Still quite a few caterpillars around though. I now have 16 of them in my office! (and more outside!)
I also brought in a few other Black Swallowtail caterpillars that were outside. It is so cold out that they are developing really slow outside.
Posted by butterflygirl at 02:04 PM
September 27, 2003
caterpillars - 9/27
I volunteered at the Butterfly House again this morning. The Fall Festival was going on there. There was a least one more Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar on their sweet bay magnolia, I didn't look around to see if their were more.
Painted Ladies and Monarchs were flying around. I bought a couple of butterfly plants and a venus flytrap. Left kind of early, there really wasn't much to do.
Later at home it rained. I got pictures of the Black Swallowtails and of the Spicebush that is starting to pupate. It still hasn't done its last molt yet though.
September 26, 2003
caterpillars - 9/26
I finished expanding one of my garden areas today. I planted a small butterfly bush I started from a cutting, some small willows started from cuttings and one of the prickly ashes someone gave me. I will plant more stuff in there next year. I just got finished planting when it started raining really hard.
Black SwallowtailsLast of the 4 bigger ones has molted. These 4 are all 4th instar now. Right after molting, the white band still shows, but after a while its not as visible. Maybe because their skin stretches?
Their size ranges are: 1.4, 1.5/1.6, 1.6 and one nearly 2 cm.
September 25, 2003
Nothing but caterpillar updates
Still some Painted Ladies around and a Monarch now and then. So most entries will just be caterpillar updates at this point.
Posted by butterflygirl at 01:36 PM
September 24, 2003
Caterpillar Update (again)
Posted by butterflygirl at 01:27 PM
September 23, 2003
More caterpillar updates
(I've been really bad about keeping this updated recently. I have kept notes though, so I will go back and add some old entries.)
Got a picture of a 'black form' one at about 2.5 cm.
Later in the day a couple molted again. Right after molting, they look pretty much like in the last instar. White band still visible, more red/orange spikes.
Posted by butterflygirl at 01:08 PM
September 21, 2003
Caterpillar Update 2
On Sunday I took quite a few more pictures of all the caterpillars I'm raising.
The next biggest one was 1-1.1 mm long. It was black with alternating row of black spikes and yellow spikes (just 3 rows of the yellow ones). Best guess is 3rd instar.
One was about ready to pupate and was close to 3.5 cm.
Color of the chrysalids seems to have changed a bit after sitting a while. Took pictures.
Posted by butterflygirl at 09:24 PM
September 20, 2003
A Tiger Swallowtail Laid more Eggs!
On Saturday I volunteered at the Butterfly House again. Someone who works there brought me in a couple of prickly ashes for my garden. She said the Giant Swallowtails where she lives seem to prefer it over Hop trees.
Posted by butterflygirl at 07:18 PM
September 19, 2003
On Friday, when I got up and checked on the caterpillars in the morning I saw that two of the Painted Ladies had formed a chrysalis! The biggest one that is left is about 3.5 cm.
Posted by butterflygirl at 05:15 PM
September 18, 2003
Still more caterpillars left
Still nice out today, but wasn't out as much and didn't see as many butterflies. The ones I did see are pretty much the same ones I've been seeing for a while, only in smaller numbers.
Two sulfurs: one of them molted today. They are around 5-6 mm
Black Swallowtails: I found 5 newly hatched ones from that female that I saw lay eggs recently. Plus quite a few bigger ones.
Monarchs: There is still one in the front.
Spicebush Swallowtails: 2 ready to pupate any day now.
Painted Ladies: Two of the ones I found the other day are starting to pupate now. The other 2 are still eating. Still some more left on the plants in the garden too.
Posted by butterflygirl at 07:53 PM
September 17, 2003
Wasn't out too much today. Once this morning there were 3 Red Admirals around at the same time. Also saw the same Red Spotted Purple that has been hanging out for a while. Monarchs, Painted Ladies, skippers, Question Mark were all around too.
Posted by butterflygirl at 06:56 PM
September 16, 2003
Painted Lady caterpillars?
There has still been quite a few butterflies around today. Red Admirals, Question Marks, Painted Ladies, Hackberrys, Tawny Emperor, Monarchs.
I don't have any more recent ones back yet.
Posted by butterflygirl at 03:08 PM
September 15, 2003
Lots of Butterflies!
Saw quite a few butterflies today. Red Admirals, Questions Marks, Hackberrys, Painted Ladies, Monarchs, a Tawny Emperor, a Red Spotted Purple, a Viceroy - even a Buckeye!
Posted by butterflygirl at 08:47 PM
September 14, 2003
It was cloudy and cool this morning. It is now sunny again! Today I've seen a Monarch and some Question Marks, Painted Ladies, a Red Admiral, a Tawny Emperor, sulfurs and some skippers. A Red Spotted Purple from a distance too.
Posted by butterflygirl at 08:46 PM
September 13, 2003
Still some caterpillars around
At the Butterfly House today, I mostly worked indoors, as it was rainy. Outside, though, they have some Pipevine caterpillars and Tiger caterpillars. I didn't bring my camera, so I don't have any pictures of them. Someone there told me that just a few days before they found a Zebra Swallowtail that had just emerged from its chysalis.
Posted by butterflygirl at 11:31 AM
September 12, 2003
It's a rainy day, but I did see Question Marks and a Monarch.
Posted by butterflygirl at 04:02 PM
September 11, 2003
More Black Swallowtail eggs!
Saw a Red Admiral sunning itself on a tree this morning. Tried to get a picture but it flew away. Also saw a Great Spangled Fritillary, just got a glimpse of it though before it flew down into the creek.
Posted by butterflygirl at 05:22 PM
September 10, 2003
Nearly the end...
I wasn't around most of the day, so I didn't see a whole lot of butterflies. I did see a Red Admiral 3 different times today though, don't know if was the same one or not. Hadn't seen any around for a while. Also a Question Mark, Comma and Monarchs were around. And of course, Painted Ladies and skippers.
Posted by butterflygirl at 07:26 PM
September 09, 2003
At last - A Red Spotted Purple!
A Red Spotted Purple has been hanging out in the yard for a few hours now.
Otherwise mostly Painted Ladies still - 9 of them in front of the house on the sedum at one time! - and lots of skippers.
Posted by butterflygirl at 01:39 PM
September 08, 2003
Red Spotted Purple sighting
Saw a Red Spotted Purple from a distance near the house, it didn't come close to the garden though. Still lots of Painted Ladies and skippers. The Question Marks and Commas are still visiting too.
Giant Swallowtail caterpillars are doing fine - 4 cm long now! - as are the Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars.
Posted by butterflygirl at 02:58 PM
September 07, 2003
Two different Question Marks were feeding at the same time today. I may have finally got a picture of one of them with its wings open!
Lots of Painted Ladies and skippers around. Saw one Monarch. And a small sulfur, not sure of its name, but I remember seeing it in a book. I got some pictures, only with its wings closed though.
Finally got the rest of the pictures back, will post some soon.
Posted by butterflygirl at 03:44 PM
September 06, 2003
They've got to be Giants!
I'm now certain the mystery caterpillars are Giant Swallowtails, as I had originally guessed. They are over 3 cm now and will be pupating in a few days.
One Monarch came out of its chrysalis today, I think it was male.
The willows I took cuttings from look like they might be getting some new growth on them now, they had looked like they were going to die.
Two of my Spicebush Swallowtails started to pupate today.
Posted by butterflygirl at 10:02 PM
September 05, 2003
I saw the first Viceroy today that I've seen this year.
Posted by butterflygirl at 08:30 PM
September 04, 2003
The sun is back!
On Tuesday it rained even more than the day before, so I didn't see any butterflies, except late in the afternoon when it cleared up a bit I did see a Monarch and a few skippers. And I took more pictures of the mystery caterpillars. They are a little more than 2 cm long now. Will post pictures when I get them. Took a few pictures of the Spicebush caterpillars too.
Posted by butterflygirl at 07:03 PM
September 01, 2003
Rain, Rain, Rain!
It's been pouring down today, so there won't be any butterflies flying around. The hummingbirds don't seem to mind in the least.
Two Monarchs did come out of their chrysalids today though. One was another 'surprise' one. I walked around to the front of the house when the rain slowed down a bit and found a Monarch hanging from a dying purple cone flower. I looked around nearby and sure enough, found the empty chrysalis under one of the leaves of the plant. So few butterflies survive on their own naturally that I'm always surprised to see one that wandered off and pupated on its own, without my help, and survived. Of course, it happens, its not like they need help from people, but still the odds are against them. It makes me happy to see it!
Posted by butterflygirl at 05:08 PM