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Posts Tagged: UC Davis Department of Evolution and Ecology

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

Monarch Madness: Thanks, Monarch Mama!

A hungry monarch caterpillar chewing on a milkweed stem this morning in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Thar's gold in them thar hills? Probably not. But thar's definitely gold in that there pollinator garden--our little pollinator garden in Vacaville, Calif. Gold, black and white--as in the iconic monarch caterpillars. We've been waiting all year for Mama Monarchs to lay some eggs on our...

A hungry monarch caterpillar chewing on a milkweed stem this morning in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A hungry monarch caterpillar chewing on a milkweed stem this morning in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A hungry monarch caterpillar chewing on a milkweed stem this morning in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The monarch caterpillar swirls to get the best angle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The monarch caterpillar swirls to get the best angle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The monarch caterpillar swirls to get the best angle. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The long and short of it--a monarch caterpillar crawls on a stem to its next dining spot. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The long and short of it--a monarch caterpillar crawls on a stem to its next dining spot. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The long and short of it--a monarch caterpillar crawls on a stem to its next dining spot. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Even seed pods are fair game for hungry monarch caterpillars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Even seed pods are fair game for hungry monarch caterpillars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Even seed pods are fair game for hungry monarch caterpillars. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a monarch caterpillar, taken with a Canon MPE-65mm lens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of a monarch caterpillar, taken with a Canon MPE-65mm lens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a monarch caterpillar, taken with a Canon MPE-65mm lens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Art Shapiro: Worst Monarch Season Ever, But Best MIlkweed Season Ever

A female monarch butterfly nectaring in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This year ranks as the worst monarch season he's ever seen in California. But...this year ranks as the best milkweed season he's ever seen in California. Butterfly guru Art Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis,  has monitored...

A female monarch butterfly nectaring in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female monarch butterfly nectaring in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female monarch butterfly nectaring in a Vacaville pollinator garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Art Shapiro, UC Davis distinguished professor of evolution and ecology, fields questions at the May 26 Butterfly Summit, held at Annie's Annuals and Perennials, Richmond. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Art Shapiro, UC Davis distinguished professor of evolution and ecology, fields questions at the May 26 Butterfly Summit, held at Annie's Annuals and Perennials, Richmond. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Art Shapiro, UC Davis distinguished professor of evolution and ecology, fields questions at the May 26 Butterfly Summit, held at Annie's Annuals and Perennials, Richmond. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

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)

Don't Believe Everything You Read About Spiders--Or Anything Else for that Matter!

The woodlouse spider, Dysderca crocata, is neither a new species nor deadly, contrary to a Facebook hoax disguised as a public service announcement. (Photo by Michel Vuijlsteke, courtesy of Wikipedia)

Just a hoax. A fear-mongering hoax. A so-called Facebook "public service announcement" on Aug. 21 that warned of a “new deadly spider species” spreading across the United States went viral, but it was all fake news. The images that the South Carolina man posted are of a woodlouse...

The woodlouse spider, Dysderca crocata, is neither a new species nor deadly, contrary to a Facebook hoax disguised as a public service announcement. (Photo by Michel Vuijlsteke, courtesy of Wikipedia)
The woodlouse spider, Dysderca crocata, is neither a new species nor deadly, contrary to a Facebook hoax disguised as a public service announcement. (Photo by Michel Vuijlsteke, courtesy of Wikipedia)

The woodlouse spider, Dysderca crocata, is neither a new species nor deadly, contrary to a Facebook hoax disguised as a public service announcement. (Photo by Michel Vuijlsteke, courtesy of Wikipedia)

This is a male woodlouse spider, Dysderca crocata. (Photo © Hans Hillewaert, courtesy of Wikipedia)
This is a male woodlouse spider, Dysderca crocata. (Photo © Hans Hillewaert, courtesy of Wikipedia)

This is a male woodlouse spider, Dysderca crocata. (Photo © Hans Hillewaert, courtesy of Wikipedia)

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