Monday, August 27, 2012

Seed harvest

As i was harvesting lamb's quarter seeds, i remembered i had read somewhere that stinging nettle seeds are good to eat too. Now i do know, that there are butterflies that do have a connection with nettles.
"okay" i did harvest the lamb's quarters but left the nettle patch alone when seeing that these creatures  claimed them for their food source already.
Now the question is, will they hang their pupa in the nettles too and which butterfly will emerge and when?


christopher said...

I wish I had your answers. Wait. This might be right:

"Many of our most colourful and well known butterflies depend on nettles for the growth of their larvae. They are all members of the Nymphalidae ( pronounced Nim-fa-lid-eye ) or Brush-footed butterflies. This is due the front pair of legs ( which are much smaller than the other two pairs and so not used for walking ) being covered in tufts of hair like scales.

Let's take a look at those you may see in a sunny nettle patch.

Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta

A common sight in gardens in the autumn where it will feed on Buddleja flowers and fallen fruit. Migrates from Africa each spring.
Small Tortoiseshell - Aglais urticae

The adults are frequent visitors to garden flowers.
Peacock - Inachis io

Unmistakeable resident butterfly with large distinctive 'eye-spots' on the wings.
Comma - Polygonia c-album

The comma was struggling in the early 1900's but has made a remarkable comeback and is moving steadily northwards."

I found pictures on google and I am guessing that's a Red Admiral caterpillar. I am having trouble believing that Mom migrated from Africa.

jozien said...

Thanks Christopher! you got me on the right track, i will do some reading today and report later.

jozien said...

Yes! This is very exciting Christopher. I have not seen the Red Admiral butterfly, but obviously it was here :) They apparently migrate to the States. And i think Portland should be a nice overwintering place for someone from the Yukon.