Late Departure

It's 81 degrees F (with a low of 63 degrees F) and the humidity is 69%. That's hot and humid for December. We had a 33 degree day in October! Crazy weather.

This hot and humid weather has been hanging around for over a week. The Gulf Fritillary butterflies are still around, but I'm only seeing 3 at the most on a given day. The native passionvine vines are all brown and dead. There are new shoots coming up from the roots. Those shoots are sustaining the few caterpillars that are still around. The tropical salvia and lantana are feeding the adults, aided by the dandelion that has decided to begin popping up.

The non-native passionvine that is planted in the Jasper Arboretum (we think it's the "Incense" hybrid), still has several green leaves and a couple flowers, and the Gulf Fritillarys seem to hang around it, but there is not much damage from caterpillars. They are not eating it despite the lack of a native food source. This makes me think that these butterflies may not be adapted to eat this non-native species. That happens with many exotic plants - they are resistant to pests simply because they didn't evolve with the insects in the area.

I do not think Gulf Fritillarys migrate. I need to do more research on this subject.

I did do a lot of research on Passiflora incarnata (the native passionvine) and gave a powerpoint presentation to the Master Naturalists, which was was received. It's amazing how many species are in the world (485-ish and even more if you count all the hybrids)! It may be worthwhile to become an expert on our particular native species.

הועלה ב-דצמבר 9, 2022 09:33 אחה"צ על ידי redpenny redpenny

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Thanks for posting your findings! I’m in Orlando FL and have had passion vine running a bit rampant in my yard, but can’t make myself take it out due to all the gulf fritillary caterpillars. After the short freeze, it’s mostly died off, so I started pulling it out and realized there are so many caterpillars still trying to eat it. So, I got a caterpillar house and am growing them in there with the plants I’ve pulled out, and a few vines in the yard that are managing.. Now, I’m running out of plant because the cold is preventing growth. There is a passion plant down the road that I thought maybe I could borrow leaves from, as it’s still thriving despite the cold weather, and perhaps because it’s the wrong species for these caterpillars as you’ve mentioned in this post. Do you have any specific passion vine species besides incarnata that know work/ don’t work for the caterpillars? I’m just assuming mine is passiflora incarnata at this point :)

פורסם על-ידי julieastraea לפני יותר משנה

Hello! I am not a Naturalist as such, but I just bought a passion fruit plant from a supermarket that it's still in the small pot it came at and it's supporting around a bamboo stick I put close to it. I am at Ocala, FL, and I was just looking for general information as there is a wasp very interested in the vine;l am just curious.

I have really enjoyed reading your information and your journal. I appreciate you share your experience. I confess I am a little concerned about having the caterpillars eating the plant, as that was not my goal. But I am also curious and thinking on why not? I think I will not be able to control that anyway, so I don't know what will happen (I don't think I will have the nerve to get rid of the caterpillars).

I know that things happen, but I am a little sad that the journal was not updated for quite a long time. I hope your are Ok.

פורסם על-ידי mpgllrc לפני 6 ימים

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