Post by saturniidave on Mar 16, 2011 9:11:36 GMT -8
As you ask if sugar water is useful 'in the field' I am assuming you mean at home. Sugar water will attract a lot of ants, wasps, hornets and flies but not butterflies. The only way to attract butterflies to your garden is to plant as many nectar plants as you can, using species that flower at different times so there is always something there, and also planting the foodplants (hostplants) of your local species. Both these things will encourage butterflies to visit and breed in your garden. Dave
I started life with nothing and I still have plenty left.
Actually, I've had American Painted ladies and red admirals come into sugar water. Also, Polygonia interrogationis, and Nymphalis antiopa will come in from time to time. Sometimes swallowtails fly in and land on the container and try to feed, but end up leaving after a few minutes, because the holes are too small for them. Take a water bottle, place some banana's inside, or mango's, or apples, sliced, or pears, sliced, and stuff them into a hole cut into the side of the bottle, then hang them from tree limbs in the woods. Some people pour brown sugar over them, or honey, which brings in more ants, bees and wasps, and an occasional onslaught of beetles, which I like. So, it's not entirely hopeless. Jeff Prill
Last Edit: Mar 16, 2011 13:04:51 GMT -8 by prillbug2
Post by billgarthe on Mar 16, 2011 15:54:45 GMT -8
Jeff and Dave said it quite well. Flowers and host Foodplants for the yard. Fruit works great for butterflies as does rotten fish, excrement and even big damp spots(watered area) during dry periods.
I have had great success actually fermenting fruit for both the nymphalids and Catocalas at night. I actually brew a batch or two in five-gallon buckets of bananas and apples with white and brown sugar and yeast. These sit in the buckets for the fall and winter. I just checked mine and wanted to have some myself as the mixture has become quite quite fragrant of truly fermented fruit. Day and night, they swarm to actual fermented stuff. They'll like the regular fruit slop, but the alcohol in the longterm batches out produces all others for leps and coleops. It seems that when it becomes alcohol via fermentation, it is better than added alcohol. I have heard that beer added to bananas works well.
Each fall I gather the apples that fell and were not edible for us and grated them to a slop and tossed the grated apples into the buckets. I ask grocers for discarded fruit and last year got a single batch of 300 over-ripe bananas and peeled myself silly, then mashing them into the same apple slop in the buckets. The longer you can prepare for this, the more effective it will be.
Post by papilio28570 on Mar 16, 2011 18:34:26 GMT -8
I use the old W.J. Holland recipe of very ripe banana, stale beer and brown sugar. Toss it all in a blender or food processor. I pour this into cups suspended below a butterfly trap and check it several times a day. It is good for Nymphalidae Satyridae and Lycaenidae, though not all species within the groups. As Bill pointed out, the longer you let it sit before use, the better.
I also use watermelon rind. I eat the small cannon ball melons by cutting in half and scooping out the flesh. This results in a rind bowl which you can set out in woodland borders, As they decompose, the rind fills with juice and ferments to some extent; good for about a week depending on relative humidity.
Post by mikelock34 on Mar 18, 2011 16:48:35 GMT -8
If you are going to use urine, mix it with shrimp paste and let it sit in the sun a few days before use. The shrimp paste consists of fermented shrimp and salt. Mix it 10, 20, 30, 40 % shrimp paste to urine whichever you prefer and try it. That works exceptionally well in many places.
Post by Adam Cotton on Mar 19, 2011 11:28:55 GMT -8
The New Forest isn't exactly tropical ;-)
There's an art to laying urine bait, it has to be in the right place. I usually pour urine on several points along a stream bank or path and find that the butterflies choose the one they prefer. The important point is that the ground must already be damp, and the sun should be shining on the bait, it's no good in shade.