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Old 08-19-2010, 01:25 PM   #31
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I just released adult monarch #3 for 2010, a healthy female. The first two were males. Three to go. There is one more, long gone, that was left with our neighbor and her two daughters back in June. It was in chrysalis stage, and they released the butterfly before we returned to Madison. Said to be normal & healthy. I have other dilemmas to ponder...
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Old 08-19-2010, 04:06 PM   #32
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Default My Own Dilemma

If you'd rather, I can start a different thread, but I thought it might relate here.

Yesterday, I went back to check on the two (now very fat) Monarch caterpillars. They are no longer there. I'm hoping that means that they went off to find a place for their chrysalis stage...but, now I have no way of knowing if they survived or not.

While searching for them and checking up oh my yellow and black garden spiders, I noticed a praying mantis hidden between the bush and some grasses. (I notice they are now referred to as Chinese mantis.) For about a week, I've noticed that the larger, maturing Argiope spiders had disappeared, and smaller younger ones took their place. Yesterday, those were gone too...I'm suspecting that the mantis may have been catching and eating them. Now, I have to wonder if he got my caterpillars or not.

If the mantis were native, I'd have little problem with him doing what he does naturally. Am I right that praying mantis are not native to North America/Pennsylvania? If not, then part of me thinks that I should eliminate it--but, I hate killing things. (I do swat at mosquitoes and have killed Japanese beetles and the like, but the larger the animal the harder it is for me to kill it.)

What would you do?
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:51 PM   #33
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It's blurry, but here is a picture of the praying mantis I saw the other day. I went back and it *seems* to have left the butterfly weed.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:20 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by benj1 View Post
Mr. Non-Interference, you have broken your contract with Nature. You should repent and resolve to uphold your own standards, lest you fall to corruption and shame.

Believe me when I say that I am not sure how I will repay or repair the karma damage doing this has caused me. I know that somewhere, sometime I will pay for this.

I tried to slap my wrist but I kept flinching, then I tried kicking myself in the butt, nearly broke my leg trying. I think I will just go out and plant a bunch more plants in penance.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:23 PM   #35
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Default Update on Tiger Swallowtail

The larva is doing fine and has almost doubled in size, I think he might be molting tonight so I will post a picture tomorrow in his new skin. While out in the yarden during my daily de-stressing, I found a second tiger swallowtail larva on the same tree, probably a white ash tree. This one must have hatched a day later than the one that I am raising, probably a replacement from mother nature for the one that I stole.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:36 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
If you'd rather, I can start a different thread, but I thought it might relate here.

Yesterday, I went back to check on the two (now very fat) Monarch caterpillars. They are no longer there. I'm hoping that means that they went off to find a place for their chrysalis stage...but, now I have no way of knowing if they survived or not.

While searching for them and checking up oh my yellow and black garden spiders, I noticed a praying mantis hidden between the bush and some grasses. (I notice they are now referred to as Chinese mantis.) For about a week, I've noticed that the larger, maturing Argiope spiders had disappeared, and smaller younger ones took their place. Yesterday, those were gone too...I'm suspecting that the mantis may have been catching and eating them. Now, I have to wonder if he got my caterpillars or not.

If the mantis were native, I'd have little problem with him doing what he does naturally. Am I right that praying mantis are not native to North America/Pennsylvania? If not, then part of me thinks that I should eliminate it--but, I hate killing things. (I do swat at mosquitoes and have killed Japanese beetles and the like, but the larger the animal the harder it is for me to kill it.)

What would you do?
I have no problems with you incorporating your dilemma here as well.

The larger a monarch larva gets, the more toxic it becomes. One of the benefits of eating a toxic plant. It is entirely probable that they have gone off to pupate. Good luck in finding the chrysalides.
As far as your mantis goes, there are about 20 species that are native here in North America. That is not to say that yours is one of them, I am not able to identify it well enough to be sure.

I don't have any problems with removing ANY non-native species as long as I can positively identify them. Luckily I don't have any problems with japanese beetles here in my yarden. I did have some major problems with gypsy moths a couple of years ago, but they have not made a comeback after the wet summer last year. I don't bother with trying to swat at mosquitoes, I just try to shoo them away. I have even watched them as they bit me just to see them get fat and fly away.

In answer to what would I do, I would try to get a positive ID on the insect. I will always err on the side of letting it be, but if I know for sure that it is a non-native, I will remove it, as in dispatch it with expediency.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:25 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by tineckbone View Post
I think I will just go out and plant a bunch more plants in penance.
That's the wisest thing you've said in a while...and you say some wise things!

(If you really feel you need the penance, that is a great way to do it.)
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:40 PM   #38
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The larger a monarch larva gets, the more toxic it becomes. One of the benefits of eating a toxic plant. It is entirely probable that they have gone off to pupate. Good luck in finding the chrysalides.
As far as your mantis goes, there are about 20 species that are native here in North America. That is not to say that yours is one of them, I am not able to identify it well enough to be sure.

I don't have any problems with removing ANY non-native species as long as I can positively identify them... I will always err on the side of letting it be, but if I know for sure that it is a non-native, I will remove it, as in dispatch it with expediency.
Thanks for your response, ti.

Good to know that there are native mantises--after seeing "Chinese mantis" I started doubting that they were native --20 native species! Cool.

My problem is that I don't like to kill anything. I guess I don't even like killing plants--but that is much easier than animals...and the larger the animal is the harder it is for me to do it. I'll assume it is a native one...it is long gone anyway.

Thanks for the comment that the larvae likely just went off to pupate. I thought that was a possibility. Knowing that they have a good defense made me feel they'd do fine on their own.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:13 PM   #39
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And he learned all he knows about monarchs from me! ~patting myself on the back~
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:53 PM   #40
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The native parsley that I have the most of is Daucosma laciniatum, which naturally grows in my area. They had a LOT of caterpillars on it this year. I've forgotten the exact name of the other one(I'm not getting any younger, BTW), but it is a Polytaenia species. There were only a few plants of that one this year. I've seen lots of insects nectaring on both native and nonnative parsleys.
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