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Posts Tagged: Passiflora

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

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

A Two-Headed Butterfly?

Gulf Fritillaries (Agraulis vanillae) on their host plant, Passiflora, doing what nature intended. At the far right is a Gulf Frit caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

There's an old joke circulating among entomologists about excited novices contacting them about finding a "two-headed butterfly." Sounds like National Enquirer stuff, right? Wrong. Just two butterflies mating. If you see lots of Gulf Fritillaries (Agraulis vanillae) frequenting their host plant,...

Gulf Fritillaries (Agraulis vanillae) on their host plant, Passiflora, doing what nature intended. At the far right is a Gulf Frit caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Gulf Fritillaries (Agraulis vanillae) on their host plant, Passiflora, doing what nature intended. At the far right is a Gulf Frit caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gulf Fritillaries (Agraulis vanillae)on their host plant, Passiflora, doing what nature intended. At the far right is a Gulf Frit caterpillar. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Two: The Gulf Fritillaries begin to spread their wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Photo Two: The Gulf Fritillaries begin to spread their wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Two: The Gulf Fritillaries begin to spread their wings. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Three: The reddish-orange wings of the Gulf Fritillaries are stunning. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Photo Three: The reddish-orange wings of the Gulf Fritillaries are stunning. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Three: The reddish-orange wings of the Gulf Fritillaries are stunning. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Four: The coloring and contrast of the silver-spangled and reddish-orange wings make it one of the showiest butterflies in California. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Photo Four: The coloring and contrast of the silver-spangled and reddish-orange wings make it one of the showiest butterflies in California. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Four: The coloring and contrast of the silver-spangled and reddish-orange wings make it one of the showiest butterflies in California. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Five: These butterflies engaged for about 10 minutes, while the photographer was there. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Photo Five: These butterflies engaged for about 10 minutes, while the photographer was there. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Five: These butterflies engaged for about 10 minutes, while the photographer was there. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Six: After the photographer captured this image, the butterflies separated and flew their separate ways. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Photo Six: After the photographer captured this image, the butterflies separated and flew their separate ways. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Photo Six: After the photographer captured this image, the butterflies separated and flew their separate ways. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ever Seen a Gulf Fritillary Laying an Egg?

Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae), an orangish-reddish butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, lays its eggs on its host plant, Passiflora. They often lay their eggs on the tendrils. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Ever seen a Gulf Fritillary butterfly laying an egg? The Gulf Frit (Agraulis vanillae), an orangish-reddish butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, lays its eggs on its host plant,  Passiflora. When you see its silver-spangled underwings, you may think there are two different butterflies....

Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae), an orangish-reddish butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, lays its eggs on its host plant, Passiflora. They often lay their eggs on the tendrils. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae), an orangish-reddish butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, lays its eggs on its host plant, Passiflora. They often lay their eggs on the tendrils. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae), an orangish-reddish butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, lays its eggs on its host plant, Passiflora. They often lay their eggs on the tendrils. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Silver-spangled wings of the Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Silver-spangled wings of the Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Silver-spangled wings of the Gulf Fritillary. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, August 6, 2018 at 5:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Natural Resources

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