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Ahhhh! My first visitor...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 09, 2021 05:23PM
... since doing some backyard planting:

[imgur.com]

... I presume it's a "she", but maybe someone else here can say for sure.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Ahhhh! My first visitor...
Posted by: hal
Date: June 09, 2021 05:34PM
I was just talking to a neighbor about the fact that I haven't seen a monarch in over 10 years here in central califonia.

This article says that the population is down 99% in california over the last 20 years - so sad...[www.sfchronicle.com]

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Re: Ahhhh! My first visitor...
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 09, 2021 05:35PM
.....I am the Monarch of the Sea.....the Ruler of the Queens Navy......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Ahhhh! My first visitor...
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: June 09, 2021 05:42PM
Lovely picture, PeterB!
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Re: Ahhhh! My first visitor...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 09, 2021 05:47PM
Yep, I intentionally planted milkweed -- several types -- in my backyard, back in March/April. Luckily some of them had grown enough to apparently attract her, though none have flowered significantly yet. (Strangely, she completely ignored all the other flowers in my backyard, including the salvia and butterfly bushes, and seemed more interested in my ivy and of course the milkweed.)

Unfortunately, I may have inadvertently planted some of the wrong type of milkweed -- I was trying to go for all-native-to-my-state milkweed, and some of what I planted may have instead turned out to be A. curassavica, the Mexican butterfly weed. This is a problem because it's thought that this type of milkweed can pass on a problematic parasite, and the fact that it grows better in hotter temperatures messes up the Monarch's life cycle: [xerces.org]

Edit, if anyone is interested, I grew all the milkweed from seed, purchased off eBay. Unfortunately, eBay sellers may mislabel what they're selling... cursing smiley

Edit #2: reading up a bit on it, it has to be a "she" because of the wing veins, and it looks like in the third and fourth photo, she is indeed laying eggs on the milkweed. Hopefully I will have caterpillars within the week!

Edit #3: for those of you in the West, consider planting A. speciosa (Showy Milkweed: [calscape.org] ) or A. cordifolia (Heartleaf Milkweed: [calscape.org]) ... both of which are native to CA and quite pretty. Full list here: [xerces.org]




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2021 06:03PM by PeterB.
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Re: Ahhhh! My first visitor...
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: June 09, 2021 09:42PM
This is so coincidental, because today was the first day I've seen butterflies in my yard. A bunch! I have not seen them yet this year
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Re: Ahhhh! My first visitor...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 09, 2021 10:00PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
This is so coincidental, because today was the first day I've seen butterflies in my yard. A bunch! I have not seen them yet this year

I was actually at Lowes earlier today (for the first time in a VERY long time, owing to corona), and while I was there, there was a Monarch on their milkweed -- the bad type of milkweed I mentioned above, which they shouldn't really be selling -- and also some sort of Swallowtail feeding on their Lantana. Looked like either a Black or possibly a Spicebush... very pretty. I have tons of flowers in the front of my house for the butterflies to feed on, but so far, no visitors... at least none that I've actually seen.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Ahhhh! My first visitor...
Posted by: btfc
Date: June 09, 2021 10:10PM
I’m planning to plant some milkweed on my properties; I try to use native species as much as possible, especially on my Idaho place as it has been heavily affected by farming and livestock grazing.
There seem to be better options for my Oregon place, and the likelihood of getting Monarchs is higher.
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Re: Ahhhh! My first visitor...
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 10, 2021 08:05AM
Quote
btfc
I’m planning to plant some milkweed on my properties; I try to use native species as much as possible, especially on my Idaho place as it has been heavily affected by farming and livestock grazing.
There seem to be better options for my Oregon place, and the likelihood of getting Monarchs is higher.

The Xerces website has state- and region-specific information on which types of milkweed are native and should be planted, as well as sources for the seeds. Tons of useful info there. And worth mentioning that although milkweed is a obligate substrate for the Monarchs, a lot of other pollinators will feed off the nectar... so you're helping all the pollinators, not just the Monarchs.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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