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Old 06-02-2011, 09:58 PM   #11
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Great find and photos! Also, I want to echo Dap's words of how Tineckbone is missed. Are his fingers broken????
No, his fingers aren't broken. LOL He goes through phases where he doesn't get on the computer much. Tonight he was tilling gardens until he broke the tiller. He is way bummed out about that.

He will be on here again soon, I am sure.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:01 PM   #12
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Yes, I'd always heard that Chelone glabra was the only host plant, but it appears the larva might feed on penstemon, and introduced plantain too.

We'll see when and if any arrive, though I think it's a bit early. . .

Here's a Washington Post Article, and I know there are several other good links about the Checkerspot--it's the state insect. I'll share them when I've found them.

Orange, Black And Rare All Over - washingtonpost.com
Teresa,
Great article from the post! I would like to know the status of the checkerspot in other states...

To all: does anyone notice anything about the photo of the checkerspot cats? How many caterpillars are there? Hmmmm
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:24 AM   #13
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Teresa,
Great article from the post! I would like to know the status of the checkerspot in other states...

To all: does anyone notice anything about the photo of the checkerspot cats? How many caterpillars are there? Hmmmm
I hadn't noticed before but now that you mention it, it does look like there are just two caterpillars and two leftover "skins" from a recent molt.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:15 AM   #14
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No, his fingers aren't broken. LOL He goes through phases where he doesn't get on the computer much. Tonight he was tilling gardens until he broke the tiller. He is way bummed out about that.

He will be on here again soon, I am sure.
Well, tell him two things for me. FIrst that I miss his informative posts, and second that he shouldn't be tilling his garden anyway!!!!!!!
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:01 PM   #15
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Wow! Doug Tallamy and free plants? Cool! Do you know if the checkerspot will use a purple turtlehead? John has that in the yard. He looked it up and it turns out it is a variation of the white. Not sure if they will use it as a host plant.

We really are thinking about going back to PA to see if we can find the caterpillars or chrysalides. My niece has a dance recital in a few weeks, so we may venture back to Shickshinny. My cousin who owns the land was THRILLED to hear about the cats. I have another photo from that same day of a butterfly we have yet to identify. I will try to post it here over the weekend. Soooo busy with field trips and programs at school right now!

Chelone glabra, White Turtle Head is the only host plant. There is some confusion here though as the common name is misleading. White Turtle Head often has varying degrees of pink in the flower. So this can be confused with other species sometimes. Another issue is that the caterpillar is a generalist forager. They will eventually eat any plant they like after a certain age. Adult females will only lay eggs on White Turtle Head.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:01 AM   #16
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Ah-ha! Thanks, Mr. Ants, that explains the things I've read about penstemon & plantain.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:44 AM   #17
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Chelone glabra, White Turtle Head is the only host plant. There is some confusion here though as the common name is misleading. White Turtle Head often has varying degrees of pink in the flower. So this can be confused with other species sometimes. Another issue is that the caterpillar is a generalist forager. They will eventually eat any plant they like after a certain age. Adult females will only lay eggs on White Turtle Head.
I am still confused. Does she only lay eggs on a plant that gets white flowers?
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:00 PM   #18
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She only lays eggs on that species. Because of the pink flowers though the host plant can be confused with Pink or Red Turtle Head, which are more commonly sold in nurseries. Here's the USDA distribution for Chelone.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:21 PM   #19
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She only lays eggs on that species. Because of the pink flowers though the host plant can be confused with Pink or Red Turtle Head, which are more commonly sold in nurseries. Here's the USDA distribution for Chelone.
Thanks for clearing that up for us! I was way confused until I realized that the one we have isn't the same plant. Darn nursery!! I will have to tell my sister as well because she also has the Chelone lyonii.

We know where to find it in the wild and are thinking of taking some cuttings. Have you ever done that before?
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:39 PM   #20
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We know where to find it in the wild and are thinking of taking some cuttings. Have you ever done that before?
I have not, but I know it spreads by rhizomes. A root cutting might be required.
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