Giant Swallowtails return!

Discussion in 'Butterfly / Moth' started by marlingardener, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Giant Swalowtail b.jpg
    Frankly, I was worried. We have had fewer butterflies, and no swallowtails all spring and summer. But, they are returning! The zinnias and salvia greggii are magnets, and we have host plants for eggs and instars, so we are hoping to have more soon.
    The Giants are my favorite, along with almost anything with wings, except mosquitoes and yellow jackets.
     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    that is a lovely foto, Jane. What a huge butterfly that is! Interesting that its body is yellow. Those wings look perfect as if it had just emerged from its chrysalis.
     
  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Yes Sjoerd, it is a young butterfly. We have searched out hop trees (host tree) and Passion Flower vines for eggs or instars, and haven't seen any. That doesn't mean there are none, it just means they are well hidden! We also have a lot of hungry birds!
     
  5. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Say Jane--what are instars?
     



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  6. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Sjoerd, instars are what are usually called caterpillars, even though they are not. A butterfly-to-be goes through several stages, or instars, each larger than the previous. When it reaches the last stage it forms a cocoon and then emerges as a butterfly.
    We have spent hours walking the field, looking at milkweed leaves for Monarch butterfly eggs, instars, and cocoons. We are easily entertained!
     
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  7. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Thanks Jane. Never too old to learn something new.
    I knew about the process from egg to adult, but the term "instar" I had never heard of. Perhaps it was thought-up long after i graduated. hahaha.
     
  8. Tooty2shoes

    Tooty2shoes Hardy Maple

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    Wow they are beautiful. We've seen quite a few Monarch's this year and a few Swallow tails. We have had an explosion of Dragon flies. They are so interesting to watch.
     
  9. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Tooty, we have lots of dragonflies--more than usual. We also have fewer butterflies than usual. I'm hoping that our unusual weather has simply blown our butterflies off course, and that we'll get the Monarch fall migration that we enjoy each year.
    Sojerd, don't worry about not knowing the term "instar". We didn't either until we started participating in the Monarch Watch.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
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  10. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Thanks Jane. It's "live and learn " on here, innit.
     
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