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Old 08-22-2010, 03:24 PM   #181
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Default monarch with split proboscis

When you raise butterflies, you can observe the split proboscis right after it ecloses or emerges. I've attached a photo (not mine) of a monarch right after eclosing. It starts to roll and unroll the proboscis, zipping the two halves together to make its drinking straw. Isn't nature amazing?
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:03 PM   #182
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Yes, as great as some human achievements might be, they can never surpass the pure beauty and complexity of nature!
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:43 PM   #183
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The question is, why is a Prius a tasty treat?

Red-spotted purples seem to like to taste inanimate objects more than any other species, or is that my imagination? I've seen them on our hot tub cover, on the bottle of chlorinator powder, on my cat box rug that was hanging out to air on my deck railing, on the can that holds my bird seed.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:32 PM   #184
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Red-spotted Purples engage in some puddling behavior. Look at this, should give a few clues.
Hiker's Notebook: Red Spotted Purple
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:22 PM   #185
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Thanks, ButterflyLinda. My yard must be short on their normal puddling sites if they are resorting to tasting my son's car, though.

Our old gravel driveway used to attract puddling butterflies, but whatever was in that gravel seems to have disappeared from my yard with the construction of my new concrete driveway. I have been trying to create an artificial puddling site with misc sand and gravel from my property, and I threw in some beach sand for salt, but so far no interest. Do I really need to add urine or dung, or is there an alternative?
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:31 PM   #186
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I've seen that kind occasionally take an interest in just ground areas where I'd watered, but I don't notice them often around here...sometimes I don't even know they were here until I find little caterpillars on the black cherry leaves. I've heard of some people that take containers and fill with sand and rocks or something like that, then put water in it. I wouldn't do the dung...ugh! Yeah, I wondered why it liked the car...any dogs around that might be peeing on the car?
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:57 PM   #187
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Not up where it was tasting - it was up on the hood of the car, and we don't have dogs. It is always possible that a squirrel or raccoon peed on it, or frass falling from the trees it is parked under part of the day. My thought was maybe salt from having been at the beach for the week before.

I considered putting a bit of cat poop from the litter box into my homemade puddling site but there are diseases you can catch and it would smell gross. When I put out some rotten banana as butterfly bait, all I attracted were ants and wasps, so I'm reluctant to go that route. I guess the poor dears, bless their hearts (that's southern, y' hear), will have to figure it out for themselves.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:02 PM   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turttle View Post
Not up where it was tasting - it was up on the hood of the car, and we don't have dogs. It is always possible that a squirrel or raccoon peed on it, or frass falling from the trees it is parked under part of the day. My thought was maybe salt from having been at the beach for the week before.

I considered putting a bit of cat poop from the litter box into my homemade puddling site but there are diseases you can catch and it would smell gross. When I put out some rotten banana as butterfly bait, all I attracted were ants and wasps, so I'm reluctant to go that route. I guess the poor dears, bless their hearts (that's southern, y' hear), will have to figure it out for themselves.
All of this talk has me remembering a guy from a garden center I worked at...He'd urinate in the mushroom manure bin and said it would attract butterflies to puddling--they needed the minerals.

Would a little mushroom manure help? LOL.

(Just in case you are a member here by some strange chance, "Hi, Paul.".
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:36 PM   #189
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I spent some time cleaning up garden "stuff" and these white-faced meadowhawks, Sympetrum obtrusum, kept me company landing on tomato and chicken wire cages I was piling up to put away.
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:22 PM   #190
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Excellent photos Equilibrium!
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