Learning relationships by raising and studying butterflies
1, How did the bees and wasps in the earlier part of the summer, help feed the butterflies for the later part? Did the bees and wasps help the Maypop plant?
2. When the butterflies emerge, most of the Maypop bloom is over. What other flowers do the butterflies visit? Do they help pollinate other flowers.
3. Some kinds of wasps might also hurt the butterfly population. You might read the mosquito spray article to see a connection between wasps and caterpillars. However, note that butterfly caterpillars tend to be more protected by spines than the caterpillars that are pests. You might also run a Google search to see if you can find out more about "wasps" and "caterpillars" Use these two words as your search terms.
4. You can look up more about the Maypop at the Plants National Database on the Internet. This will help you learn to recognize it. You can use either the common name, Maypop, or the scientific name, Passiflora incarnata, in your search. You can also look up other Passiflora species.
5. Can you find the scientific name of the Gulf Fritillary? One simple way is by doing a Google search with the search terms, "Gulf Fritillary" and "species"
6. Does the Gulf Fritillary caterpillar feed on other Passiflora species? Are there other butterfly species that do? You can also run a Google search for "Gulf Fritillary" and "larval food"
7. Other favorite plants for some beautiful butterflies are dill, fennel and parsley. You can plant these in your garden, and watch to see if butterflies come to lay eggs. Soon there will be caterpillars. Remember that if you poison the garden with insecticides, you will also be killing the butterfly caterpillars. Can you find some other favority larval foods?
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