A Gulf Fritillary......finally!!

Discussion in 'Butterfly / Moth' started by toni, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    19,634
    Likes Received:
    5,059
    Location:
    North Central Texas, Zone 8a
    It was a hard summer on butterflies around here in the heat. I think I saw maybe 4 between March and October and have seen three Monarchs this fall. But today I found a Momma Gulf Fritillary almost attacking the Passionflower vine trying to lay dozens of eggs. She was flitting all over the vine working like a mad-woman.
    This late in the year there most likely will not be enough warm weather for them to complete the life cycle but if they can make it long enough maybe they can pupate under leaves for the winter.

    [​IMG]
    Gulf Fritillary Mom laying one of many eggs ( photo / image / picture from toni's Garden )

    [​IMG]
    One of the many eggs she laid ( photo / image / picture from toni's Garden )
     
    Frank likes this.
  2. Loading...


  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Messages:
    29,088
    Likes Received:
    6,277
    Location:
    Scotland
    I do hope the eggs hatch and that the caterpillars can overwinter in their cocoons Toni. It would be such a shame, after the female put all that hard work into laying them, if they all perished.
     
  4. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    11,679
    Likes Received:
    3,099
    Location:
    S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
    Is that little yellow dot the egg? I was wondering what they looked like.
    My Passion Flower vine has looked like a Gulf Fritillary convention center lately.
    Funny little side note. Hubby spotted one of the caterpillars a few yards away from the Passion Flower and asked me if he should bring it back.
    And even my "good" brother has been checking on them when he visits.
    :-D
    Anyhow... so glad you're getting to see them in your garden now Toni!
     
  5. kathyd

    kathyd In Flower

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Toni, I'd be so excited by this too. I hope the eggs hatch and develop quick enough to overwinter.
     



    Advertisement
  6. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    19,634
    Likes Received:
    5,059
    Location:
    North Central Texas, Zone 8a
    Yep Cheryl, that little yellow ball is the egg. I didn't have anything to hold behind it to show the size except that wooden spoon which is about 2.5 inches long.

    Last year I watched three generations of Gulf Fritillary moms lay eggs and at any one time could count at least 12 caterpillars of different sizes crawling and munching happily on the vine. Some didn't make it to pupate because there were also red wasps out there that were eating the cats all summer. :eek:
     
  7. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Messages:
    12,067
    Likes Received:
    3,501
    Location:
    Western Norway
    Good luck to the eggs, I hope they make it. Silly wasps. I think they could find something else to eat. :(
     
  8. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    19,634
    Likes Received:
    5,059
    Location:
    North Central Texas, Zone 8a
    Well, unless there were some of the eggs in a more protected location on the vine there will be no caterpillars this late in the season.

    We have had a couple of nights in the middle 30's (about 2degC) and the ones I found the other day are all shriveled up and dark almost brown. :'( But it was exciting while it lasted.
     
  9. Sherry8

    Sherry8 I Love Birds!

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    1,825
    Location:
    Wisconsin...zone 5
    Great shot...I had a small yellow butterfly 2 days ago and we have been having some very chilly days...it is amazing how these little creatures survive..
     

Share This Page