Butterfly gardening - University of Minnesota Extension

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Butterfly Gardening
Written and Presented by: Cathy LeVahn
Anoka County Master Gardener, Minnesota Tree Care Advisor
Butterfly Gardening
 Introduction
 Behaviors
to Watch
 Creating a Butterfly Garden
Introduction
 Wildlife
habitat is being
destroyed
◦ Commercial development
◦ Residential development
 Butterfly
gardening encourages
habitat restoration
Introduction
 Minnesota
– 200 species
 Adult lifespan – 2 weeks
 Several generations each season
 Some hibernate, others migrate
Freedigitalphotos.net
Butterfly Gardening Can Be Easy!
Provides host plant for larval growth
and adult feeding
 Uses native and horticultural cultivars
of annuals and perennials

◦ Sip nectar
◦ Lay eggs
◦ Source of food
Why?
 Encourages
the establishment of
butterfly populations
 Butterflies return year after year
 Environmental stewardship
 Personal enjoyment!
Butterfly or Moth?
 The
insect order Lepidoptera
consists of butterflies and moths
◦ Butterflies – 8% of species
◦ Moths – 92% of species
Butterfly or Moth?
 Butterflies are brightly colored
◦ Advertises distastefulness to predators
◦ Females look for noxious host plants to
lay their eggs
◦ Distasteful to birds
Peacock Butterfly photograph by Leon Truscott
Butterfly or Moth?
 Moths
are dully colored
 Lack functional mouth parts
 Highly palatable to
birds
 Most are active
after dusk
US Forest Service
Key Distinctions
Antennae
clubbed
(Nymphalidae:
Monarch
butterfly)
plumose
(Saturniidae:
Luna moth)
slender
(Sphingidae:
Sphinx moth)
Key Distinctions
Body
slender, smooth
(Pieridae: Sulphur
butterfly)
thick, furry
(Arctiidae: Tiger
moth)
Key Distinctions
Wings at rest
usually held
upright
(Lycaenidae:
Hairstreak
butterfly)
held flat
(Noctuidae:
Underwing
moth)
rooflike
(Geometridae:
Goat moth)
Key Distinctions
Transformational stage
butterfly:
chrysalis
moth: pupa
naked or
cocoon
Black Swallowtail
www.genehanson.com
Spicebush Swallowtail
www.genehanson.com
Checkered White
www.genehanson.com
Small Copper
www.genehanson.com
Variegated Fritillary
birdsbeesandbutterflies.com
Great Spangled Fritillary
www.simplybutterflies.com
American Copper
www.simplybutterflies.com
American Painted Lady
New Mexico State University
Monarch
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Checkered Skipper
www.genehanson.com
Red Admiral
Discover butterflies.com
Behaviors to Watch
 Feeding
◦ Use flower nector as primary food
source
◦ Required for energy/flight
bugs.bio.usyd.edu.au
Behaviors to Watch
 Feeding
◦ Some suggested nectar plants for adult
butterflies :
Blueberries (Vaccinium)
bartlettsblueberryfarm.com
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
Photographer: Marie
Lilac (Syringa)
www.mountainspringscentre
Coneflowers (Echinacea)
Impatiens (Impatiens)
M. Myers
Marigolds (Tagetes)
Gardening Paradise
Phlox (Paniculata)
GardenWeb.com
Sunflower (Helianthus)
[email protected]
Aster (Aster)
Ark Master Gardeners
Bee Balm (Monarda)
Photograph by G. Fauske
Sedum (Sedum)
DailyEncouragement.net
Behaviors to Watch
 Basking
◦ Butterflies are cold-blooded
◦ They fly best when air temperatures
range from 75-90º
◦ Basks in sun to warm up
static.flickr.com
Behaviors to Watch
 Puddling
◦ Congregate at wet edge of mud
puddles or wet sandy areas
◦ Fluids rich in salts and nutrients
◦ Required to mate successfully
www.learner.org/
Behaviors to Watch
 Patrolling and Perching
◦ Males search out females for mating
◦ Fly over areas where females are laying
eggs
◦ Perch on tall plants for lookout
Photo by Alice Russell
Behaviors to Watch
 Mating
◦ Flight patterns differ in courtship
◦ Males fly behind female
◦ Flutter wings more than usual
aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu
Behaviors to Watch
 Egg Laying
◦ Female flying over plants
◦ Touches down quickly
◦ May drum on leaf surface with feet
aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu
Creating a Butterfly Garden
 Host Plants
◦ Group flowers of similar color together
◦ Select nectar producing plants
◦ Provide flowers that bloom throughout
season
◦ More active mid to late summer
Cathy LeVahn
Creating a Butterfly Garden
 Host Plants (continued)
◦ Supplement with home-made feeders
◦ Must provide for caterpillars





Milkweed
Butterfly weed
Dill
Parsley
Nettles
USDA Forest Service
Creating a Butterfly Garden
 Habitat
◦ Shelter (protection)
 Lay eggs
 Predators
 Wind
◦ Don’t plant near birdhouses or
feeders
Creating a Butterfly Garden
 Habitat
◦ Water Source
 Wet Sand
 Mud Puddle
i.ehow.com
picasaweb.google.com
Creating a Butterfly Garden
Eliminate the use of pesticides
◦ Kills larvae and butterflies
◦ Kills beneficial insects
◦ Kills birds
 Use oils, soaps and microbial
insecticides only if necessary

Enjoy
References: Butterfly Gardening
Vera Krischikis an assistant professor,
Department of Entomology and an
extension specialist, Minnesota Extension
Service. She is also the director of the
Center for Urban Ecology and
Sustainability, University of Minnesota
National Audubon Society Field Guide to
North American Butterflies, Pyle
Cathy LeVahn
Cathy LeVahn
References - Links
Butterfly Gardening; Krischik, Vera
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG6711.html
Tall Garden Phlox for Minnesota Gardens; Brown, Deb
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG1119.html
Sunflowers; MacKenzie, Jill
http://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h118sunflowers.html
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