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Old 2020-09-11, 01:15   #34
Dr Sardonicus
 
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This is one of the Monarch caterpillars on my milkweed. I hadn't seen any of them out in the open lately, but today there were a bunch of them in plain sight. A better insect photographer than I got this shot of the largest of them we saw.
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Old 2020-09-11, 01:41   #35
kladner
 
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Wow! Impressive creature.
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Old 2020-09-12, 01:16   #36
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It's been raining ash here for the past few days due to the wildfires and the air quality is extremely unhealthy, so I haven't been out to survey the parsley. Maybe the ash will eliminate the pests.
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Old 2020-09-12, 01:50   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richs View Post
It's been raining ash here for the past few days due to the wildfires and the air quality is extremely unhealthy, so I haven't been out to survey the parsley. Maybe the ash will eliminate the pests.
Reminds me of Waldo <shudder>.

(taps fist on head) Here's knocking on wood, hoping that what's raining down doesn't eliminate the whole neighborhood.

The year after the Waldo Canyon Fire, the Black Forest Fire burned hundreds more homes and killed two more people. It was far enough away that there wasn't ash raining down where I was, but the air was thick with eye-watering, choking smoke. Visibility was not good. Breathing the smoky air reminded me of trying to cook over an open fire, and always being on the downwind side of the fire.
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Old 2020-09-15, 02:03   #38
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.
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Old 2020-09-15, 10:34   #39
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Quote:
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Shameless!
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Old 2020-09-15, 11:27   #40
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Nice shot.

Looks like a Southern species of walkingstick (Anisomorpha). Similar picture at Bugguide here.

Some insects fly around while they're mating. Wheeee! Talk about "shameless!"
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Old 2020-09-15, 11:39   #41
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Slim: What's the point of going out there? They'll only laugh at me.
P.T. Flea: That's because you're a clown!
Slim: No, it's because I'm a prop. You always cast me as the broom, the pole, the stick... a *splinter*!
P.T. Flea: You're a walking stick. It's funny! Now go!
Slim: You parasite.
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Old 2020-09-17, 13:50   #42
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Default The REAL plant experts

I'm generally fairly good -- at least, for a layman -- at plant ID's. With common weeds or garden plants, I can often get the genus right, even if I can't name the species.

But I have just been outclassed by an insect, the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus). Someone presented me with a "lost" Monarch caterpillar on some kind of bindweed in their garden. No milkweed anywhere near the bindweed plant. They brought it over to my place so if could feed instead on my milkweed.

The bindweed looked like a typical member of the genus Convolvulus which includes field bindweed, and used to include hedge bindweed (which I thought this might be) until it got reclassified.

Then, additional "lost" Monarch caterpillars turned up on the same kind of bindweed.

Finally, when I was faced with clear proof the caterpillar had actually be feeding on that plant, the light bulb flickered on.

It dawned on me that I had better nail down the ID of that bindweed.

I did so. I didn't even have the family right. I thought I was dealing with the morning-glory family Convolvulaceae. The Monarchs know better. The catepillars were feeding on

Honeyvine Milkweed (Cynanchum laeve)

Milkweed Family (Asclepiadaceae)


AKA Ampelamus albidus, Gonolobus laevis, bluevine, climbing milkweed, dog's-collar, Enslen's-vine, honeyvine, honeyvine swallwort, peavine, sandvine, smooth anglepod, smooth swallow-wort.
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Old 2020-09-17, 16:55   #43
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The only insect I get to see these day. And it is a *seven plague* sort. It jumped on my screen.
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Old 2020-09-21, 00:55   #44
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This is the first Monarch chrysalis I have ever seen with my own eyes. It is hanging below a milkweed leaf over the deck of my front porch. Sorry for the poor image quality, I snapped it with my phone. Swapped out the phone pic for a much better one. Much smaller image size, too.

There are more on the way. I saw an immobile caterpillar similarly attached to the underside of a nearby leaf. I don't know how long the final molt will take, but my guess is there will be another chrysalis some time tomorrow.

UPDATE: And so it came to pass. Now there are two.
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