Painted Lady Butterfly ovipositing on Mentha himalayensis

20 May

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This surprised the hell out of me for a couple of reason… I was truly happy to see her here, since I have nettle in the garden specifically for her and her kin, as well as Anaphalis margaritacea, Artemesia sucksdorfii and others for both larval host plants and for the adults, but she bypassed the known host plants and instead layer them on this Asian mint.

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You can see the little turquoise, freshly laid eggs on the mint leaves here, two of them on this plant. There we several other stems she also layed eggs on, of both this mint and possibly Barbarea vulgaris (though I didn’t see her actually oviposit on those, she did spend quite a bit of time on them.)

I will of course watch for the caterpillars, and hope this mint ends up being a good host for them. It is certainly aggressive enough to provide ample leaf age for the caterpillars to forage! And the flowers have always attracted a lot of insects, including butterflies, which is why I grow it to begin with.

So now we will just have to wait and see, I guess.

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