What do I feed a viceroy cat?

mocknbird(MoCo, MD (6B))April 28, 2013

I just pulled a viceroy cat off my young (and barely surviving) apple tree.

I don't want to return him to my appletree. What else can I feed it? I have mostly suburban, eastern trees to choose from, redbud, tulip poplar, Bradford pear, tosh into cherries...

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mocknbird(MoCo, MD (6B))

Yoshino cherries. (Thanks autocorrect.)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 9:54AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Hmmm, I'm wondering if your caterpillar is a Red-Spotted Purple. Viceroys feed on a variety of willows. Red-spotted purples can be found on different trees, including, poplars, crab-apples, purple plums, wild cherries, etc. The two caterpillars are hard to differentiate. I would try the cherry, or just continue to provide a few leaves from the apple tree and raise the caterpillar in a container. Check out the FAQs on this forum for more information. One caterpillar shouldn't devastate your tree.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 11:03AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Ditto to the above - the cherry tree leaves will be okay, and, like Sandy, I'm pretty sure it's a red-spotted purple. Viceroys never use anything but willows around here.

Congrats on your caterpillar! They make beautiful butterflies - I found an egg on a wild black cherry tree the other day, so I'll be raising at least one very soon.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Saw my first butterfly here in Madison, WI. I believe it was a Morning Cloak, but it was flying too fast for a positive ID.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 6:47PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

It is not in her book (The Life Cycles of Butterflies) but last week Judy wrote me that she is raising viceroys on wild black cherry. Another + for Prunus serotina.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 11:32PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

It's listed as a host for viceroys in some books, but I've never heard of anybody who actually found a viceroy on it, KC. It's good to hear that Judy's using it successfully, though.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 9:32AM
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