Caterpillars Like The Hottest Part of the Year

Three weeks ago (roughly, if my memory is correct), when we got our first heat advisory, is when the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars started showing up. They came by the tens and twenties! A week ago their numbers became more than I could count each day! They seem to prefer the HOTTEST days of the summer.

Well, we're at the time in their life cycle when they wander from the passionflower vine to find just the right spot to form a chrysalis. This group has left evidence of traveling quite a large distance (considering the length of those tiny legs)! I've also observed many more chrysalides than in past years.

The pupating caterpillars are actually becoming a bit of a nuisance. Our tilt trailer, parked near the house during an outdoor renovation project, has around 10 chrysalides. The trailer will need to be moved soon. In addition to that, we have found several chrysalides on my new hog panel, soon to be used for a sugar snap pea trellis, and on the brand new outdoor spigot for my garden hose. So today, I'll be removing them gently and pinning them to some styrofoam that will be placed outside where they can safely continue their transformation. My husband can assist me with this. In one of his homeschooling activities, he raised butterflies. If I can keep an eye on them during this busy time, I'll report back how many chrysalides make it to adult butterfly stage.

I was able to harvest enough passionfruit (aka maypops) to make a little under a pint of juice. The are still many fruits on the vines, but with the rate that the leaves are disappearing, I don't expect the plant to have enough energy to produce the completed, ripened fruit. The fruits are full size, but in the past, the wrinkles never came and the juice sacs around the seeds never fully developed. Time will tell if this happens again.

Posted by redpenny redpenny, August 18, 2020 13:58

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I read through your posts and have a question. Im in Denton County, TX and have had Gulf Fritillaries evwry year visit my passion vines. This year however, i had a handful in late June early July with chrysalis everywhere. Since then zero and my vines have exploded. Do you think the hurricanes/storms and few days of low 50° truncated or delayed migration?
A little concerned

Posted by mrmak 21 days ago (Flag)

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