What cats are eating my Purple Coneflower?

flutterby64June 28, 2014

Hi everyone

I have caterpillars on my Purple Coneflower that I hope someone can identify. I haven't been able to find a reference that lists coneflower as a host. The cat pictured is 3/8" long. Several cats attack a single leaf at once. When they are done with it, the leaf is black and covered with frass. They also eat the bloom petals. They are quickly destroying the foliage. Can someone please tell me what they are?

Thanks,
Dana

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runmede(7a Virginia)

Silvery Checkerspot

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures and info.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 2:30PM
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Leafhead

Lucky you :-)>You're in for a pretty show of butterflies.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 5:06PM
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flutterby64

Cool! Runmede, thank you, for the I.D.! This is my first opportunity to raise Silvery Checkerspots. Can I raise them indoors the same way I raise Swallowtails and Monarchs? Are these early enough in the season that they should eclose before winter?

Dana

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 6:33PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

I'm not getting replies for most of the posts I address and sign up for.

Yes, you can raise them like you raise the swallowtails. That caterpillar looked pretty mature. Caterpillars now will finish their cycle, pupate, and emerge. They winter over as caterpillars in a leaf nest.

This post was edited by runmede on Sun, Jun 29, 14 at 19:00

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 6:55PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

See the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Info for silvery checkerspot life cycle.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2014 at 6:59PM
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flutterby64

Thank you for the info., Runmede. I've brought a few cats indoors and they are eating great. Their behavior is interesting. Each time I go back to the plant for more leaves, the second I touch a leaf every cat on the plant turns loose and falls to the ground. I've never experienced this with swallowtail or monarch cats. Sure, they will drop off if disturbed enough, but I wonder why they don't drop off at the slightest disturbance. Seems like more of them would survive.

Dana

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 12:56PM
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flutterby64

I just released my first Silvery Checkerspot! Thought you might like to see it.

Dana

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 7:03PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Oh, how gorgeous!!!! Congratulations!!

Sherry

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:25PM
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bernergrrl(z5 IL)

Beautiful! Thank you for updating us. Love it. Would love to find some caterpillars on all my plants for them...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 8:55AM
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msmorningsong(SW FL 10A)

What a good job you did raising them Flutter. It's beautiful. Have you been able to release any more?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 8:18AM
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woollybear69(9b Fla.)

Two beautiful photos. The Silvery Checkerspot butterfly, was very beautiful.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2014 at 5:44PM
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