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Old 07-02-2010, 11:06 AM   #31
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In Texas, both the Red Admiral and the Painted Ladies had very large populations this spring. Those have mostly moved north...to avoid the heat, I guess. The Two-tailed Tiger Swallowtails (of the SW) have also increased populations beyond what I've seen before. And the Black Swallowtail, which during our drought, was seen only occasionally here, has been all over...butterflies and caterpillars still around. The Common Buckeyes are around now more than normal...although I don't know what they would use as host plant this time of year. A large number of Tawny Emporer caterpillars had showed up on the hackberry trees...but I haven't seen any new TE butterflies and two that I brought in to raise died. And the caterpillars on the crotons...I rarely see any leafwings. There are regular periodic snout butterfly outbreaks in Texas which has to do with drought and rain cycles, from what I hear...I've thought other "outbreaks" might be similar. Since we had the most severe drought (La Nina) in recorded history for our area, followed by El Nino high rainfall in the fall and winter (although rain has been somewhat spotty the last few months), I wonder if the other butterfly species could be responding to those drought/rain cycles. I assume such a cycle in one area of the country could produce large butterfly numbers and they could then move on to another part of the country that wasn't even in a cycle of that sort. Just my little theory...may not be right.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:01 AM   #32
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The information about not seeing Black Swallowtails during a drought might explain why I'm not seeing any this year. It has been very dry for a while here.
Are the undersides of the wings black on the red admirals?
I saw 2 small black butterflies chasing each other this morning.
So now I have lots of Pellitory, at least I think it is pellitory but it does have saw tooth edges, growing throughout my garden and it is certainly very weedy. If you have this plant do you let it grow throughout the garden or do you have a weedy area you just leave alone?
When I took a closer look at this plant and compared it to all the sites for ID and relistened to the video it appears I have another plant, but what?
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:12 AM   #33
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I think that might be Acalypha rhomboidea. Native but very aggressive, I generally pull it.
Acalypha rhomboidea page
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:33 AM   #34
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Thanks amelanchier, I'll pull it.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:27 PM   #35
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This should give you some idea of what the underside of the wings on the Red Admiral looks like. And this shows some Pennsylvania Pellitory I have...pretty much dormant right now because of the hot summer, but this was taken in spring. I always have some of it in my yard, which I don't pull up unless it's just clearly in a bad place. Then there are more on the property...it was a lot this year because of the rain.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:47 PM   #36
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We have had an abundance of rain here in the Chicago area this entire spring..
...yet few Black Swallowtails..

on my butterfly monitoring route yesterday I did have lots of Tiger Swallowtails, Dun Skippers and Common Wood Nymphs...

but no Black Swallowtails...
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:25 AM   #37
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There is always something completely missing. This year I havent' seen any Monarchs. Maybe I'll see them in the fall. Would love to have them nectaring on White Mistflower and using the milkweeds
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:50 AM   #38
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Same here...not too many Monarchs this year...the ones that I have seen are really beat up and weathered.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:23 PM   #39
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Oh oh oh!!! I've got one. This one was posing for me before he took off.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:43 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Oh oh oh!!! I've got one. This one was posing for me before he took off.
Cool! I continue to see them flitting around. Two of them flew overhead as we lounged in our chairs on the beach this afternoon. They don't often sit still long enough to take a picture.

John and I found 9 big fat monarch caterpillars in the milkweed patch today! I don't often see the monarchs in the yard, but it is nice to find the evidence of their visits!
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