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Old 07-05-2010, 11:05 AM   #11
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The Spicebush Swallowtail doesn't take very long. During the warm weather they can just keep going with their life cycle as long as there are host plants around, I think...although I don't keep track of how many days in chrysallis. I've had too many of those cats, on occasion. In my local area, there are no host plants growing wild and probably nobody has planted any. So I worry about the cats starving if they run out of foliage on my plants. In the past, I didn't even think that species would breed this far west until I went to a native nursery 40 or so miles northwest of us...and there were cats on the Spicebush they have. Not too far away from that nursery, the plants grow naturally in the canyons, although not common.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:21 PM   #12
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Woohoo! Spotted a leafwing butterfly today! Thought it was a Gulf Fritillary at first because I saw flashes of orange as it zipped quickly around. Then I realized it was lighting on doveweed and the other larger croton...laying eggs. And saw the leafwing silouette as it layed an egg very briefly...otherwise it flew around very fast! I put out more old sliced fruit, since I THINK they are fruit-feasters. I knew there were eggs on the plant, but thought maybe they were old and weren't going to hatch...just because I never saw any butterfly out there.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:39 PM   #13
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I wouldn't know a leaf wing butterfly if it landed on my nose.

But, I'm interested. Is it Zaretis itys that you are speaking of? A search of just the common name on the web brought up many possibilities. If it is, that is quite a camouflage job the adult maintains.

BTW, I'm always fascinated by your ability to spot these creatures in all of their stages of development. I haven't seen a Spicebush caterpillar, for instance, yet this year though I have at least 8 healthy size spicebush shrubs scattered about my property. One of the bushes is a healthy fifteen feet high. I went out yesterday to see if any leaves seemed eaten - they hadn't... But it is Lindera benzoin.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:46 PM   #14
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Are you talking about the leafwing? If so, it is probably this one (although I haven't positively ID'd it yet):
Species Detail | Butterflies and Moths of North America
That site also has a search function, if I'm not mistaken, under Map Search, where you can get a list of butterflies for your state or even your county, and make sure whether the Spicebush Swallowtail has been reported in your area. The list isn't very up-to-date, but still it's very helpful. My Spicebush might be used more because there aren't many host plants for that butterfly in this particular area. My theory is that Spicebush Swallowtails that are flying through the area go right to it because of the scarcity of available host plants. The caterpillars often fold the leaves around them for protection, so folded leaves is one sign I look for...besides eaten leaves.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflyLinda View Post
Are you talking about the leafwing? If so, it is probably this one (although I haven't positively ID'd it yet):
Species Detail | Butterflies and Moths of North America
That site also has a search function, if I'm not mistaken, under Map Search, where you can get a list of butterflies for your state or even your county, and make sure whether the Spicebush Swallowtail has been reported in your area. The list isn't very up-to-date, but still it's very helpful. My Spicebush might be used more because there aren't many host plants for that butterfly in this particular area. My theory is that Spicebush Swallowtails that are flying through the area go right to it because of the scarcity of available host plants. The caterpillars often fold the leaves around them for protection, so folded leaves is one sign I look for...besides eaten leaves.
Yea, that's the one my search showed of the leaf wing. Not native to my area, though. I've checked before on the Spicebush caterpillar and it is native to my area - just not in my town I guess...
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:30 PM   #16
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Just wanted to post this pic of what I believe is a Goatweed Leafwing...it was just emerged. I have one other chrysallis and another caterpillar I'm raising.
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Croton Caterpillars-ufo-leafwing2.jpg  
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:02 PM   #17
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Wow, gorgeous butterfly!
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflyLinda View Post
Just wanted to post this pic of what I believe is a Goatweed Leafwing...it was just emerged. I have one other chrysallis and another caterpillar I'm raising.
Great picture and great camouflage!
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:31 PM   #19
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Camouflage...maybe that's why they don't want to open their wings! The upper wings are prettier, but they don't want to show them!
Goatweed leafwing on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 07-29-2010, 06:00 PM   #20
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Camouflage...maybe that's why they don't want to open their wings! The upper wings are prettier, but they don't want to show them!
Goatweed leafwing on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Beautiful...thanks for the link.
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butterfly, caterpillars, croton, croton caterpillars, croton fruticulosus, crotons, goatweed, goatweed butterfly, leafwing

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