Butterflies of Southern Ontario and NE US
I try to encourage Bees and Butterflies and any other bug to live in my yard. Here are some Butterflies and Moths that I've photographed.
I choose plants and flowers that attract Bees and Butterflies. Link to Plants that attract Butterflies.
Each year I collect monarch butterfly eggs to raise and release them. In nature only a very small proportion of eggs laid ever become butterflies. Here is a link to my Monarch pages.
Newly emerged black swallowtail. They lay eggs in the fennel I grow for them. The brown liquid is hydrolic fluid they use to get the wings to expand. I raised swallowtails from eggs.
He spent some time just slowly moving his wings, then flew off. The caterpillar is a wonderful big colourful character. The smaller one is much younger.
If you gently touch the caterpillar, he brings out bright orange horns and puts a very smelly substance on your finger.
They live on fennel, dill, carrots, queen anne's lace, parsley and other members of the carrot family.
The cocoon can take several weeks to hatch or only a few days. I don't know what causes them to wait longer. It's not just temperature.
I get these wonderful hummingbird moth in the bee balm and on the butterfly bushes. I have more photos here.
There are always lots of yellow cabbage butterflies. The caterpillar is a very popular snack for the birds. They patrol my vegetable garden very carefully.
The butterflies often go to the soil pile. Maybe they are getting minerals.
Monarch butterflies lay eggs on the milkweed. That's the only plant that can feed the caterpillars. The adults eat pollen and nectar from many different flowers though. I collect the eggs and hatch them inside. That way a much larger number of butterflies grow up. Here is my page on monarch raising from eggs
You can't have butterflies and moth without caterpillars. If you look carefully they are everywhere. This year there was a tremendous ball of caterpillars collected on a hickory tree. They are in the same family as tent caterpillars but they don't make tents.
The admiral caterpillar looks like bird poop.
Woolly bears are great travellers. They crawl over the paths and always seem to have somewhere to go.