Cluster of eggs on buttonbush?

terryr(z5a IL)July 21, 2011

The other day I noticed this cluster of eggs on the underside of a leaf on my buttonbush. I have no clue what they are. Does anyone have any idea what they might be? The leaf has turned somewhat sideways, so it's the underside, but it's turned sideways...hope that makes sense!

TIA,

Terry

P.S. Uploading the photo to my computer, the photo is crystal clear, uploading the photo to photobucket, it's blurry. I hope you can see it good enough!

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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Looks like it could be Cecropia Eggs! I've raised Cecropias that I've found on Buttonbush. Keep an eye out for them to hatch so you can raise them inside. So many caterpillars disappear when they are left on the plants. Or you can sleeve the plant.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 5:34PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

A Silkmoth? I don't think I've ever seen one before! If they are, how exciting! Thank you!

Anyone else think it's Cecropia eggs? Or something else?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 5:55PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Small clusters of large eggs, each with a sunken area, is typical of the big silk moths - since they're on buttonbush, they're most likely cecropia eggs, which is fantastic!
Cecropias are such huge, GORGEOUS creatures!
Do the eggs have holes in them, like they've already hatched? It's hard to tell from the picture whether I'm looking at sunken in areas or holes. Could they have already hatched, and that's why the leaf is chewed? If so, check out your buttonbush for caterpillars.
I've got pictures of cecropia caterpillars in various stages, also an adult picture. If you'd like to see them, let me know.
Congratulations!
Sherry

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 6:40PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

From the shape, plus the dimple and the hole, they look like empty cecropia eggs. But, there is no brown on them. I've never seen cecropia eggs that are all white. Another thing that sticks out is none appear to be in order. If cecropia eggs are laid next to each other, they are pointed in the same direction so the cats exit in the same direction. I guarantee I've never seen 10 cecropia eggs laid that close together in that kind of haphazard way.

I don't think they are cecropia eggs.

KC

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:03PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Today is the 4th day they've been there. This bush is right by the back sidewalk, right at the gate, I look at the buttonbush everyday. I mean really look. I love the bush! They weren't there 5 days ago, they appeared 4 days ago. That much I'm sure. I don't believe there's any holes, just the dimples.

Sherry, that chewed area appeared when the eggs did. I noticed it along with the eggs. I've looked already for caterpillars and didn't see any...that doesn't mean a whole lot though :) Tomorrow I'll look again! I would also love to see your pictures!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 11:31PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Well, if the thing I think is a hole is actually a dimple, they are definitely not cecropia eggs because the mystery eggs have two dimples. Cecropia eggs have a dimple only on top (and maybe where they are glued to the leaf).

Prometheas also eat buttonbush. I know sometimes their eggs are white. But I don't think their eggs have those dimples either.

Regals eat buttonbush too but their eggs are NOTHING like those.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cecropia eggs pics are #9 and #10 - lots of excellent pics

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 1:18AM
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bettyd_z7_va(7)

Terry,

Please keep us posted on what they are. Pics of what they become would be wonderful. I still have so much to learn!

KC,

Thanks for the link. It was so informative that I will be sharing it with DH and our Grandson, Eli.

Loved the videos. After watching how much they eat, I will have to root LOTS of Button Bush cuttings to feed those hungry cats! lol

Betty

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 2:47PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Terry and Betty -
Here are some cecropia eggs and hatchlings -

And here is a close-up of a hatchling cecropia cat -

Here are some cats a little further along -

A cecropia cat even further along on the right, also a promethea cat -

A late instar cat -

And an adult male -

Sherry

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:23PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Betty,

If you are going to raise any of the big moth cats in decent numbers, make sure you have diversity in your host plants. This is because you never know when things will go south on you. This is my 7th summer at this house and I'm on my 3rd main cecropia hostplant because of a Japanese beetle plague and a fungus. Plus, my new favorite cecropia host, ash tree, is time limited because the emerald ash borer will be here any time.

When you have a lot of very hungry caterpillars, you need alternatives.

I was also very impressed with that website I posted. Just found it yesterday. My favorites were the closeups of the cecropias feet. I've never seen that much detail before.

KC

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:35PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

KC, how in the world did you make out that there's a hole in the eggs?? I got out a magnifying glass late this afternoon, and sure enough, holes in them. To me, what looked like a dimple, was a hole. This leaf is right smack dab eye level. IF something ate it's way out, the only thing I can think of, is that the leaf at that time, wasn't turned sideways, like it is now. The eggs were laid when the leaf would have been in a regular leaf position. I hope that makes sense. There's a few leaves that are chewed. The bush is big, so I hate to say quite a few, giving the impression that the bush is almost eaten! I've looked and I've looked, but I don't see any cats on it. I haven't given up that there's something munching on the leaves that will turn into a beautiful moth!

Whenever I click on a link, I leave GW. It never opens up a new tab, and I don't get that. I'll look at your link after I post this KC.

A big thanks to all of you!

Terry

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:36PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I guess we all posted over each other!

LOVE the pictures Sherry!!

KC, LOVE that link!

A girlfriend sent me this link

I think my eggs look like the eggs in your link KC, and I think they look like the eggs in the link I provided. With the huge exception, I'm guessing, that all these links show brown eggs with a hole. Whereas mine are white. The mystery continues.... :)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:46PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Fantastic link, KC. Now to just find some more caterpillars to raise again. I noticed that they were on cherry in the pictures. I have a very large wild black cherry tree behind my fence. I really can't see if anything is on it. I do see butterflies flying around and ovipositing.

The Wormspit link is great also. I found that site when I was raising my first brood of Cecropias.

Sandy

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 11:15PM
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christie_sw_mo(Z6)

Terry - What trees and shrubs are nearby? There's a whole list of things that they will eat. Maybe they moved to a different food source.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 8:29AM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Terry,

I show empty cecropia eggs at every presentation I do, so I'm very familiar with what they look like. And like I wrote, your picture shows what looks like white, empty cecropia eggs, hence why I thought they had holes.

If you right click on a link, you can open in a new window (or tab depending on your browser). Whether current focus changes to the new window/tab or stays on current window/tab depends on how you have your browser options set.

KC

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 9:23AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Trees, redbuds, tulip tree, blue beech (Carpinus caroliniana), ash that I didn't plant, catalpa (Catalpa speciosa), ironwood (Ostrya virginiana), I have a wahoo tree (Euonymus atropurpurea), and the American strawberry bush (Euonymus americanus), Corylus americana, Calycanthus floridus, Viburnum dentatum is right next to it, Viburnum cassinoides next to it, oakleaf hydranga...we have a really small lot...62x130 (or 60x132, can never remember), with a 116 yr old house, detached garage....not a lot of actual space for plants, however, I packed them in and removed almost all the grass. Ha, right smack dab in the middle of town too. Not a big town, little town, only have around 7600 for a population. I have a lot more than this, this is a small sampling! Maybe easier to tell me what they like or give me a link that tells me?

KC, what do white cercopia eggs with holes in them mean? I use Firefox, have for many many years. Did not know if I right clicked though, it would open a new tab. I'll have to check that out, because I do have it set to always open up a new tab. That's why it always made me scratch my head when here, at GW, it didn't, or doesn't.

Gosh, re-reading, I'm really sorry for the mix of Latin and common names! Some I only know the Latin name, some I know both, others I can only remember the common name! :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 1:35PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I still don't think they are cecropia because of their orientation. But, if they are, those holes mean the caterpillars left because I doubt a predator did those. Now if they are cecropia and you choose to believe me, the cats scattered all over the bush. If you believe other experts, the cats should be hanging out together on some leaf.

Your list of hostplants does not include any cecropia favorites. The tulip tree and ash will work. I tried Viburnum (don't know what kind) last year. The cats ate it, spent the summer on it, but never reached maturity. I think the last one died shortly before the last viburnum leaves fell off for autumn. You could try the Carpinus.

Here is a link that might be useful: 4 out of 5 Cecropias Prefer...

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 6:00PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I found 5 caterpillars on the buttonbush. I think I know what they are, though buttonbush doesn't fit as a host plant. Add that to that the fact that I am so not good at ID, then well, you know :)

So anyway, here's 4 little cats on the leaf by the eggs. There's 5 that I could find, the other picture of only 1 didn't come out very well. It's on the bark, just beside the leaf. They aren't cecropia, they don't look like any of the pictures! Plus I've never seen an adult (really), so chances are...ya know :D

So what do I have?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 7:10PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Looks like you've got promethea moth caterpillars, Terry - congratulations! My best moth book lists buttonbush second in a long list of host plants for prometheas.
Here's an early instar cat -

Here's some later instar cats -

And here's a pair of mating adults -

Sherry

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 8:18PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Isn't that cool! Thanks Sherry!! What great photos you have! I should be so lucky! Our camcorder takes some really nice close up shots, I just haven't put the software on my laptop yet.

I have never seen a promethea moth. Looking it up, I see it's nocturnal, which would be a very good reason why I've never seen one. :D Looking at the Butterflies and Moths of NA site, it doesn't show this moth for my county. That's alright though, it doesn't show we have Monarchs either! It doesn't show a lot really....whole 'nother topic :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 10:37PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I don't ever look up the info on that site, because only butterflies or moths who have been officially documented and sent in to the person responsible are credited. If nobody sends in a picture - which they ask for - then the species isn't official. Many counties don't have anybody interested.
Sherry

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:10PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Interesting that they left that leaf and then returned.

Glad the mystery is solved. Good luck with your prometheas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Promethea moth page from same photographer that did the cecropia page I linked

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:34PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I have a friend in the county above me, but grew up here. She's tried to send in pictures and information, they don't take it. The person for my county was unavailable or something last year, otherwise I would have sent in what I had. Before I knew they were unavailable, I was going to try anyway, since it's a different person. It seems that's the link I was always given to find out what butterflies or moths I had. I like the gardens with wings site better. Easier to use too.

That's exactly what I thought KC! If you know me, know how I talk to things, bushes, bugs, flowers, whatever, then maybe it's not so odd that they returned. They wanted me to see them. They saw this really big thing (me, and only big compared to them!), looking, moving their branches every which way, looking for something, so, they came back up, eye level, right where I keep looking....I KNOW, I'm really really weird! My daughter tells me all the time!! Hubby just gives me that look..lol.. :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:44PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I forgot KC, thank you for the link! I'm glad you're glad :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:47PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

16 more eggs??!! You are doing way better than me. Hope you're getting some lottery tickets.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:01PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Here's the new cluster of eggs I found this morning..and my hubby's thumb..

And LOOK! These three have changed! I also found 2 that are like my photo above. Is this called a different instar? These 3 were like above this morning, then later I went out to search for them and they looked like this! I was so excited....lol.. :)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:24PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Congratulations, they've moved on to the next instar!

Sherry

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:46PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Thanks, Sherry!! There's others that haven't...I'm really going to keep my eye on them! This is way too cool to watch!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 11:12PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

KC, did I read that right? Ash is your new favorite cecropia food plant? If so, that would be great. I have an ash that I cut down seven years ago that sends up healthy new branches every year. I haven't had the heart to completely kill it. So, that would be great if I can feed it to cecropias.
-Elisabeth

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 12:40PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Elisabeth,

READ YOUR EMAIL, darn it. You're holding up shipping.

Ash is the word. I was desperate for hosts and tried it again last year on a stump that kept trying to live. Cats got huge. I apparently overused it (cats stripped it) because the stump leafed out this year but quickly died, before I even put cats on it. I have more ash than anything else so I've been using it extensively but most of it requires a 8' ladder to reach so that is pain. Also using my neighbor's ash stump that has been making a comeback the last 4 years. I use it only with rearing sleeves so I have no idea how well cuttings hold up.

Emerald ash borers will be here anytime so I'm thinking about using a systemic pesticide for 2 years then cecropias 2 years and then back to pesticide. I still have to do more research on how long it takes the borers to do permanent damage. I had accepted that my ashes were not long for this world until the cecropias did well on them. My notes say I had tried ash before but had gotten small cats/moths. My only guess is the leaves were old and tough. Stump leaves are very soft.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 2:08PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

KC, sent you an email.

Stump leaves from ash may be the ticket. I was getting tired of raiding my neighbor's sweet gum. He is happy to let me have what I need but he keeps limbing it up. I think he is bored with his small plot and keeps looking for things to prune...

-Elisabeth

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 4:59PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I thought I'd show a picture I took yesterday of one of the caterpillars. I think this one is the biggest.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 5:39PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Thanks for posting the photo. I love the red horns. So many similarities to the Cecropia, but some major differences. Would love to get some of these on my Buttonbush.

Sandy

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 6:48PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Beautiful picture of a beautiful, colorful caterpillar!
'Looks like the last instar to me - 'should be making one of those hanging cocoons pretty soon.
Sherry

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 11:43AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

You're welcome! I'm so happy I could share it! It's amazing to me that these...to me they're all fellas...have kept close to the front, close to the sidewalk, close to my eye level.

Sherry, I have no clue what instar they are...there's 2 that have the red "horns", others that still have yellow. I had 6, the largest one is the one I can't find. Perhaps he's already hanging somewhere? I'll have to look!

This is so exciting...lol...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 3:43PM
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