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Butterflies and Moon Flowers

Apologies for the delay in posts. Tis the season for flowers and plants to be in survival mode here in the Piedmont. Hot and dry are the buzzwords. Though, I do have a couple of bright spots for you.

Monarch butterfly. He is not a Viceroy. He is missing the horizontal black line on the hind wings. I haven't planted milkweed in a couple of years as they attracted a type of beetle which ate the Monarch caterpillars. They looked like turbo charged ladybugs, but were a brighter orange. I'll try again, but want to make sure these critters aren't around anymore.

Monarch butterfly

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. After seeing so many Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillars on the dill, I'm surprised I'm not seeing them. Maybe, they will appear later in the season.

Moon flower vine. Ian starts these from seed each year. These open in the evening and have a wonderful light scent. A breeze is needed to carry the scent. Don't have one? Just press your nose to the flower. The Moon flower vine is a host plant for Luna moths. I haven't seen one, but hope springs eternal. 8/8/17 Retraction: I can't find any references online supporting the moon flower as a host plant. If anyone does find this, please let me know. I know I've seen that information somewhere. This FB site has a photo of a luna caterpillar eating a leaf: Swallowtail Garden Seeds. The good news is we do have two Sweetgum trees nearby and they are identified as host plants for luna moths.

Moon flowers

Close up of Moon flower. Last year we had many hawk moths use the flowers at night. I hope to see them again this year.

Moon flower vine

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