Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars
Just thought that I would share the little Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars that I kept. I was curious about them and wanted to observe them. I only pulled 3 little cats off to raise. I think there were a gazillion on my Common Milkweed plants! They were really easy to gently handle with a plastic spoon if I needed to move them for cleaning out frass. They just curl up and play dead. :o) They also drop immediately to the ground with any disturbance at all. I was surprised that they didn't get bigger before they pupated. It was easy to know when they were ready to pupate because they just stopped eating completely. I put in a little container filled with shredded paper, and they just crawled and crawled all around it. Finally, I scooped one up with a spoon and set him on top of the paper. He burrowed right in and pupated very soon. I will "try" to post a pic of the little cocoons here somewhere. They are such adorable little cats, aren't they? "Look, but don't touch" definitely applies here though!