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Old 04-10-2012, 10:03 AM   #1
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Morpho Butterfly 1 Resources for learning about Larval (Host) Plants?

I am wondering where I can find a good resource for discovering specifically what plants are needed as larval plants for which butterflies. I mean, is there ONE place where all of this information is located? Instead of having to do a search for each individual butterfly?

It could be a website, or a book. What is your best resource for finding this information? thank you!
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:53 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by BeeWonderful View Post
I am wondering where I can find a good resource for discovering specifically what plants are needed as larval plants for which butterflies. I mean, is there ONE place where all of this information is located? Instead of having to do a search for each individual butterfly?

It could be a website, or a book. What is your best resource for finding this information? thank you!
Hi Bee!

I don't know of one, fantastically comprehensive THE reference, but I have found the book "Caterpillars of Eastern North America" by David Wagner (ISBN 0691121443) to be especially helpful. Not only does he list food plants for each of the caterpillars pictured, but he includes the plants in the index, so you can see which cats prefer which plant.

I also like the fact that the book covers both butterflies AND moths, since both are necessary pollinators.

you can find the book here:

Caterpillars of Eastern North America : a guide to identification and natural history (Book, 2005) [WorldCat.org]

Hope this helps!
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:51 AM   #3
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That sounds like a great resource to have on hand. Thank you Papercarver, I will check it out!
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #4
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One very nice book for our area is Butterflies of the North Woods:
Amazon.com: Butterflies of the North Woods: Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan (North Woods Naturalist Guides) (9780967379357): Larry Weber: Books

It covers all of the butterflies that would normally be found in our area (Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan). It's a very nice identification guide and it contains some information on the host plants for each butterfly.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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Thanks NEWisc, I will check out that book too!
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:21 AM   #6
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The problem with the possible expection of Monarchs, is that most butterflies/ Moths, (in MN at least) is that they host on large trees. Morning cloaks host on willow as do vicoroy, Robin moths host on Willow, maple and black cherry. Not everyone has the space for large trees.

Or has the money to cut down the trash trees the city plants- ginko and norway maple.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:20 AM   #7
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GonativeAlex, you are definitely right about the trees. Although I should say that butterflies/moths are one of the reasons why I have planted certain trees in my yard. for example, Pussy Willow and Paper Birch and Prunus species. We have Hackberry in our front yard (although I can't remember the butterfly that uses Hackberry?). Are there any butterflies/moths that use dogwood as a host plant?
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Old 04-11-2012, 10:06 AM   #8
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GonativeAlex, you are definitely right about the trees. Although I should say that butterflies/moths are one of the reasons why I have planted certain trees in my yard. for example, Pussy Willow and Paper Birch and Prunus species. We have Hackberry in our front yard (although I can't remember the butterfly that uses Hackberry?). Are there any butterflies/moths that use dogwood as a host plant?
The butterfly that uses the hackberry tree is the hackberry butterfly. Here's a thread that lists some butterflies and host plants for our area:
http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...ly-garden.html
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Old 04-11-2012, 12:13 PM   #9
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Thanks NEWisc for the great info you have there!!!!
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:47 AM   #10
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NEWisc, thanks for the link to the book. I added it to my Amazon Wish List.
Amazon.com: Butterflies of the North Woods: Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan (North Woods Naturalist Guides) (9780967379357): Larry Weber: Books
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