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Posts Tagged: Gulf Fritillary

Autumn's Hues: The Gulf Fritillary and Mexican Sunflower

A newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."--Rabindranath Tagore  When we think of orange and autumn, we think of the marriage of the Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae), and the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). The silver-spangled Gulf Fritillary, a showy orange...

A newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Gulf Fritillary will soon be able to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Gulf Fritillary will soon be able to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Gulf Fritillary will soon be able to take flight. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The silver-spangled Gulf Fritillary, a showy orange butterfly, looks like two different species. When it spreads its wings, it's orange. The underwings: silver. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The silver-spangled Gulf Fritillary, a showy orange butterfly, looks like two different species. When it spreads its wings, it's orange. The underwings: silver. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The silver-spangled Gulf Fritillary, a showy orange butterfly, looks like two different species. When it spreads its wings, it's orange. The underwings: silver. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Not two butterflies; this is one, the Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Not two butterflies; this is one, the Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Not two butterflies; this is one, the Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The showy Gulf Fritillary on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The showy Gulf Fritillary on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The showy Gulf Fritillary on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 10:02 AM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Yard & Garden

The Frit and the Fly: Who Wins?

The syrphid fly tries to seek some nectar, but the Gulf Fritillary proclaims

The Frit and the fly...or the butterfly and the fly... That would be the Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) and the syrphid fly (family Syrphidae), aka flower fly or hover fly. They meet on a beautiful autumn day on an equally beautiful Mexican sunflower (Tithonia...

The syrphid fly tries to seek some nectar, but the Gulf Fritillary proclaims
The syrphid fly tries to seek some nectar, but the Gulf Fritillary proclaims "This Mexican sunflower is occupied." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The syrphid fly tries to seek some nectar, but the Gulf Fritillary proclaims "This Mexican sunflower is occupied." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The butterfly begins to spread its wings as the syrphid edges closer to the nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The butterfly begins to spread its wings as the syrphid edges closer to the nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The butterfly begins to spread its wings as the syrphid edges closer to the nectar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The butterfly spreads and flattens its wings. The syrphid does not move. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The butterfly spreads and flattens its wings. The syrphid does not move. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The butterfly spreads and flattens its wings. The syrphid does not move. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


"Maybe if come around from a different direction!" the fly seems to say. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"Maybe if come around from a different direction!" the fly seems to say. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


"Ah, all mine!" proclaims the fly. "I scared off the butterfly." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"Ah, all mine!" proclaims the fly. "I scared off the butterfly." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, November 5, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Hungry, Hungry Caterpillars!

A Gulf Fritillary laying eggs on her host plant, passionflower vine. Note the eggs (yellow dots) on the left. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It starts out slow. Beginning in the spring (and sometimes year-around in some locales) Gulf Fritillaries (Agraulis vanillae) lay their eggs on their host plant, the passionflower vine (Passiflora). They deposit their eggs on the tendrils, on the leaves, and sometimes on the fence, wall or door...

A Gulf Fritillary laying eggs on her host plant, passionflower vine. Note the eggs (yellow dots) on the left. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Gulf Fritillary laying eggs on her host plant, passionflower vine. Note the eggs (yellow dots) on the left. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Gulf Fritillary laying eggs on her host plant, passionflower vine. Note the eggs (yellow dots) on the left. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

By fall, the only thing left on the passionflower vine is the fruit. The leaves are gone. The hungry caterpillars are like insect shredding machines. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
By fall, the only thing left on the passionflower vine is the fruit. The leaves are gone. The hungry caterpillars are like insect shredding machines. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

By fall, the only thing left on the passionflower vine is the fruit. The leaves are gone. The hungry caterpillars are like insect shredding machines. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

No leaves--just fruit--remain on this skeletonized passionflower vine. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
No leaves--just fruit--remain on this skeletonized passionflower vine. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

No leaves--just fruit--remain on this skeletonized passionflower vine. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The end result: a Gulf Fritillary adult. This one is nectaring on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The end result: a Gulf Fritillary adult. This one is nectaring on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The end result: a Gulf Fritillary adult. This one is nectaring on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Red Passionflower Vine: Pretty But Poisonous?

A Gulf Fritillary foraging on a lavender passionflower vine, genus Passiflora. This is the Gulf Frits' host plant, they lay their eggs only on Passiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If want to plant a passionflower vine (Passiflora)--the host plant of Gulf Fritillary butterflies (Agraulis vanillae)--in your garden, go for the species that produce lavender or purple flowers, "not the red ones." That's what we've been told for years. We hear that butterflies don't like the red...

A Gulf Fritillary foraging on a lavender passionflower vine, genus Passiflora. This is the Gulf Frits' host plant, they lay their eggs only on Passiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Gulf Fritillary foraging on a lavender passionflower vine, genus Passiflora. This is the Gulf Frits' host plant, they lay their eggs only on Passiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Gulf Fritillary foraging on a lavender passionflower vine, genus Passiflora. This is the Gulf Frits' host plant, they lay their eggs only on Passiflora. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gulf Fritillaries avoided this species of red passsionflower vine, Passiflora jamesonii, planted in the Garvey yard. Honey bees, however, did not. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Gulf Fritillaries avoided this species of red passsionflower vine, Passiflora jamesonii, planted in the Garvey yard. Honey bees, however, did not. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gulf Fritillaries avoided this species of red passsionflower vine, Passiflora jamesonii, planted in the Garvey yard. Honey bees, however, did not. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 5:01 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Yard & Garden

Meet Some Crafty Insects at Bohart Museum of Entomology

A praying mantis dining on a cabbage white butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Talk about "crafty"--as in cunning or sneaky--insects. Ever seen a praying mantis ambushing a cabbage white butterfly? Or an assassin bug targeting a spotted cucumber beetle? Or European paper wasps attacking a Gulf Fritillary butterfly? And, how about the other kind of "crafty" insects--like...

A praying mantis dining on a cabbage white butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A praying mantis dining on a cabbage white butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A praying mantis dining on a cabbage white butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An assassin bug targeting prey: a spotted cucumber beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
An assassin bug targeting prey: a spotted cucumber beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

An assassin bug targeting prey: a spotted cucumber beetle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

European paper wasps attacking a newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
European paper wasps attacking a newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

European paper wasps attacking a newly eclosed Gulf Fritillary butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

These
These "crafty" European paper wasps are making their nest. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

These "crafty" European paper wasps are making their nest. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A feral honey bee colony is a work of art. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A feral honey bee colony is a work of art. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A feral honey bee colony is a work of art. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2018 at 4:41 PM

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