Gardening with and for Wildlife part 6-Critters you might not have thought about
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Other ‘critters’ that you might not have thought about are butterflies and moths…
Swallowtail Butterly on Bee Balm
Pink Edged Sulphur on Liatris
Admiral on Highbush Cranberry
Butterfly on French Marigold
Butterfly on Crimson Scabious
Yep…this is a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth! He also likes the Bee Balm.
The following is some helpful information for butterflies from National Wildlife Federation:
Plant type and color is important – Adult butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink and purple blossoms that are flat-topped or clustered and have short flower tubes.
Plant good nectar sources in the sun – Your key butterfly nectar source plants should receive full sun from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. Butterfly adults generally feed only in the sun. If sun is limited in your landscape, try adding butterfly nectar sources to the vegetable garden.
Plant for continuous bloom – Butterflies need nectar throughout the adult phase of their life span. Try to plant so that when one plant stops blooming, another begins.
Say no to insecticides – Insecticides such as malathion, Sevin, and diazinon are marketed to kill insects. Don’t use these materials in or near the butterfly garden or better, anywhere on your property. Even “benign” insecticides, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, are lethal to butterflies (while caterpillars).
Feed butterfly caterpillars – If you don’t “grow” caterpillars, there will be no adults. Bringing caterpillar foods into your garden can greatly increase your chances of attracting unusual and uncommon butterflies, while giving you yet another reason to plant an increasing variety of native plants. In many cases, caterpillars of a species feed on only a very limited variety of plants. Most butterfly caterpillars never cause the leaf damage we associate with some moth caterpillars such as bagworms, tent caterpillars, or gypsy moths.
Provide a place for butterflies to rest – Butterflies need sun for orientation and to warm their wings for flight. Place flat stones in your garden to provide space for butterflies to rest and bask in the sun.
Give them a place for puddling – Butterflies often congregate on wet sand and mud to partake in “puddling,” drinking water and extracting minerals from damp puddles. Place coarse sand in a shallow pan and then insert the pan in the soil of your habitat. Make sure to keep the sand moist.
Common Butterflies and the Plants Their Caterpillars Eat
Acmon Blue – buckwheat, lupines, milkvetch
American Painted Lady – cudweed, everlast
Baird’s Swallowtail – dragon sagebrush
Black Swallowtail – parsley, dill, fennel, common rue
Coral Hairstreak – wild black cherry, American and chickasaw plum, black chokeberry
Dun Skipper – sedges, grasses including purpletop
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – wild black cherry, ash, tulip tree, willow, sweetbay, basswood
Giant Swallowtail – prickly ash, citrus, common rue, hoptree, gas plant, torchwood
Gray Comma – gooseberry, azalea, elm
Great Purple Hairstreak – mistletoe
Gulf Fritillary – maypops, other passion vines
Henry’s Elfin – redbud, dahoon and yaupon hollies, maple-leaved viburnum, blueberries
Monarch – milkweeds
Painted Lady (Cosmopolite) – thistles, mallows, nievitas, yellow fiddleneck
Pygmy Blue – saltbush, lamb’s quarters, pigweed
Red Admiral/White Admiral – wild cherries, black oaks, aspens, yellow and black birch
Silver-Spotted Skipper – locusts, wisteria, other legumes
Spicebush Swallowtail – sassafras, spicebush
Sulphurs – clover, peas, vetch, alfalfa, asters
Variegated Fritillary – passion flower, maypop, violets, stonecrop, purslane
Viceroy – willows, cottonwood, aspen
Western Tailed Blue – vetches, milkvetches
Western Tiger Swallowtail – willow, plum, alder, sycamore, hoptree, ash
Woodland Skipper – grasses
Zebra Swallowtail – pawpaw NWF
Bees and wasps…
Bee on oregano flower
Bee on chives
Long-tailed wasp on tree
Other insects, bugs and spiders…
Some kind of bug on Daylily
I think this is a fork-tailed bush katydid
Spider on Daylily
Spider on Dianthus (Pinks)
Frog pair-date night on a Daylily 😉
Frog on Hollyhock leaf