Larry Force, Mississippi

For Nature Lovers, Larva of the Pipevine Swallowtail

July 8, 2011

Categories: Growing Daffodils, Non-Daffodil, Planting, Pots

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Most swallowtail butterflies lay single eggs here and there on their host plants. The Pipevines can lay a lot of eggs at a time. 055 are new larva, only a few days old. 057 are older.These larva are on Aristolochia Fimbriata, not a native plant here. It is from Argentina, and Brazil. It root is like a tuber in the ground. Supposed to be hardy to zone 7. Not sure it is though. I have been growing it in pots and carrying it over in the green house. An attractive plant with the green leaves and silver veining. The Pipevine Swallowtail find it very attractive as it is more succulent and tender than our native pipevine. They eat everything, leaves, stems, seedpods, even the flowers sometimes. (look for the half eaten seed pod)A much smaller plant as it only grows only 12 to 18 inches, our native pipevine can grow 12 to 25 feet, high up in the trees.

3 Responses to For Nature Lovers, Larva of the Pipevine Swallowtail

  1. July 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Larry all the photos are fantastic; thanks so much for sharing!!!
    Phyllis Hess

  2. July 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    We all have our favorite foods! What amazes me most about this observationregarding the larvae liking the non native and more succulent Aristolochia morethan the native pipevine is that the butterflies that lay the eggsand never eat the foliage somehow know that their offspring willprefer it.

    Not long ago David Adams wrote asking wether (oops, we’re having a bad spell of whether here) anyone knew of studies regarding particular cultivars of daffodilsthat the bulb flies avoided or enjoyed more than others. I have grown mydaffodils in three distinctly different locations and I am convinced that theytoo (the bulb flies) have their favorite flavors. In all three spots, I havehave noted certain cultivars that are always attacked, and the many that are rarely attacked.

    For example, Quail is a variety that rarely comes up beyond itssecond season in this area of the country. On one of the field trips during theconvention down in Asheville, we saw seas of Quail. 

    Our losses of Daydreamin this neck of the woods is most always from fly infestation, and not frombasal rot. There have been studies in Great Britain, and the generalfinding was that although definite preferences were shown by the bulb fly,breeding resistance was considered not worth the effort, as it changedthe incidence of attack in most cases by just a small percentage.

    Digging daffodils in Massachusetts,

    David Burdick

  3. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    July 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Hello David,
    Your posting reminds me of the time when, sitting on our milk crates in my field,  we imagined ourselves as bulb flies considering which varieties to attack. I think we concluded that fragrance was a great attraction as Div. 3 flowers closer to N. poeticus seemed to have been favourite targets in that season of lifting.
    Missed my ‘milk crate mates’  this year – I spent days all alone, at least it was in the sunshine and bulbs were drying quickly and there was scarcely any evidence of fly damage – ‘Dursban’ in the HWT works wonders!
    Hope the digging goes well and the bulbs are of top quality.
    Say Hi to Anne