Butterflies Nectar Preferences - roses they use

robert beiriger robert.beiriger at worldnet.att.net
Mon Jun 25 01:12:22 EDT 2001

Dear all:

    The rose probably is wild rose, Rosa carolina.  When I shall the
hairstreaks, it was dry, the middle of the afternoon and fairly warm.  I do
not believe that there was any dissolved honeydew on the plants.

    At this patch of roses there was about 50 to 100 hairstreak flying from
one rose flower to another.  As far as nectoring, I did not see a hairstreak
actually stick it's proboscis into the flower.  I did collect about a dozen,
only on the flowers, and not on any other part of the plants.  If they were
not "nectaring" on the roses then something else was attracting them to the

Robert Beiriger
Loxahatchee, FL

----- Original Message -----
From: John MacGregor <jonivy at earthlink.net>
To: <robert.beiriger at worldnet.att.net>
Sent: Saturday, June 23, 2001 11:31 PM
Subject: Re: Butterflies Nectar Preferences - roses they use

> > I believe that most members of the rose family produce nectar, although
> > nectaries may not be conspicuous. Certainly Prunus (cherry), Rubus
> > (blackberry) and Crataegus produce nectar. Prunus goes so far as to have
> > extrafloral nectaries at the base of its leaves.
> > Patrick Foley
> > I have seen several different haristreaks, including Atlides halesus,
> > Calycopis cecrops, Fixsenia favonius, and Parrhasius m-album, feeding on
> > wild roses in Central Florida.  I see them on it when there is no other
> > nectar souces around.
> >
> >
> > Robert Beiriger
> > Loxahatchee, FL
> > Interesting.  I have also seen a few hairstreaks sitting on rose bushes
> > the rose garden at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore, MD.  They were
> > nectaring when I saw them, but I'll have to check a little closer next
> >
> > Rudy/Maryland
> > Last weekend we visited a private site that had Baltimore Checkerspots
> > their front yard. It had just rained when we arrived and about 5-6 of
> > Baltimore Checkerspots were perching on some kind of old fashioned rose.
> > The roses were single to double and seemed to be a ground cover type
> > I`d speculate that the rain had somehow washed out the nectar and the
> > checkerspots were taking advantage of it situation.  I was trying to get
> > photos of the checkerspots, but they wouldn`t hang around on the roses
> > I moved in closer. With in an hour they ignored the roses altogether and
> > went for the coreopsis along with the other 6-7 checkerspots at the
site. I
> > have photos of them at
> > http://www.rlephoto.com/butterflies/baltimore_checkerspot01.html
> >
> >
> > Randy Emmitt
> > Rougemont, NC
> Patrick, Robert, Randy, et al.,
> For more than 30 years the genus Rosa has been a specialty of mine.  At
> time or another I have grown practically every species in the genus as
> as more than 3,000 hybrid cultivars.  I can state categorically that no
> member of the genus Rosa has any structure that secretes nectar.  What
> produce for insects is pollen, and their fragrance is an attractant to
> attention to that pollen.  It is high in protein, nourishing, and draws a
> wide range of bees to collect it as well as beetles, earwigs, and other
> insects that devour more of the rose than just the pollen grains.
> I am aware that some species of Prunus have extrafloral nectar glands.
> mainly attract ants, although other insects may be attracted as well.  But
> have long been under the impression (perhaps mistaken) that lack of floral
> nectaries was general among the Rosaceae.  Can you direct me to a
> publication that describes and pictured floral nectaries in Prunus, Rubus,
> and Crataegus?
> What roses do produce are aphids, that excrete honeydew as sweet and rich
> sugars as any nectar.  I often have seen Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta)
> nectaring for several minutes at a time on aphid honeydew on rose leaves,
> and occasionally I have observed other butterflies doing the same.
> I am interested.  On what species of roses have you observed these
> hairstreaks "nectaring"?  Were they clearly drinking from the flowers, or
> were they drawing "nectar" from other parts of the plant?  Was this
> after a rain when the added moisture might have been dissolved aphid
> honeydew?
> John MacGregor
> jonivy at earthlink.net


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