Photo Essay

Life Cycle of the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

From Passion Vine comes a tiny egg or caterpillar that grows into a gorgeous butterfly. It mates on the vine then begins the cycle again.

1 Find a garden shop that does not use pesticides.

2 Find out if they carry Passiflora vine(Passion vine)

3 Examine plant for larvae eggs (small yellow) and/or black caterpillars (from tiny to pinky size with spikes. Buy this plant, it is a treasure! Keep the eggs and caterpillars on the plant, they are the beginning of your butterfly adventure.

4 Have your garden shop recommend a fertilizer.

5 Plant along a sunny wall or fence so the vine can climb and spread.

6 Instruct your Exterminator not to spray on or near your Passion vines.

7 Track the movement of the full size caterpillars periodically, especially around the month of July when they start to go into their cocoon(chrysalis or pupae) stage before becoming a butterfly. Be mindful of where the caterpillar might be; crossing the lawn as it relocates to hang upside down from your house, patio furniture, or a tree to transform into the chrysalis.

8 Do not disturb the chrysalis. Once the butterfly comes out of the chrysalis, it will need to be left alone to dry out until it's ready to fly.

9 The Gulf Fritillary will then return to the passion vine from which it came to continue the life cycle over again!

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