what's this black caterpillar in white lacey web on echinops?

galileo(z5 MA)July 23, 2003

We hand picked them and destroyed them but someone on the New England gardening forum suggested they might be butterfly caterpillars.

I've never seen them before. The echinops is 12 years old and this year the bulbs (flowers) are being attacked by this critter, so the stems are bent over as if broken right under the bulb.

Anyone know what it might be?

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Would it be possible to have a more detailed description? Markings, size, smooth or fuzzy or spiney? Also, an improved description of the web. I'm sure that you will get some assistance with a little more information!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2003 at 1:32PM
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I'm having the same problem in Massachusetts. The catepillar is black with horizontal stripes. Some leaves are curled up completely (I've opened them to see what's inside; removed the catepillar, but didn't know if I should squish it). Some leaves look like they've been eaten and there's a webbing around the hole in those leaves.

I also found a leaf covered in little brown disgusting crawlies with what looked like feces. Yuck!

Two other folks from Mass. have asked similar questions. Are we having an infestation?

Hope this gives more info to elicit more help from you knowledgeable folks! Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 4:26PM
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I'm looking for natural predators for Eastern Tent Catapillars.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 7:16PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

I can't find the reference now. Was the caterpillar eating the Echinops the Red Admiral?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 1:43AM
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