Here are a few things living in my garden. Does anyone know what the caterpillars are?
White Cabbage Butterfly
TigerDawn - they look like Variegated Fritillary caterpillars to me. They feed on Violets and emerging shoots of Passiflora incarnata. Got any of that?
Here is a link that might be useful: Variegated Fritillary Larva
That looks about right. It's a chrysalis now. I have pansies, Missouri violets, and little native viola things. Weirdly, the chrysalis is on a daylily leaf. I did find several other caterpillars on the little violas in the yard while I was pulling weeds last night.
They are pretty butterflies, IMHO! Congrats on your cats! They have very pretty chrysalises, too. There has been a population explosion this year of these butterflies as well as Red Admirals, Mourning Cloaks, Question Marks, and others as well.
Here is a link that might be useful: Variegated Fritillary butterfly
How long do they stay in the chrysalis? I'd like to try to be there for the ..umm.. hatching?
Tiger Dawn, you can bring in the chrysalis and watch it. When I have raised caterpillars, and they go into their chrysalis, I move them to a mesh hamper that I keep out on my porch. I find that most of them hatch in the morning...you know, just about the time I need to leave for work :)
Let me see if I can find a pic of my set up. It's quite fancy! If you look close you will see a bag of dried beans being used as ballast! (I put the sticks in flower foam bricks to hold them up)
Ooh, Lisa, what a great idea for covering one of those mesh laundry hampers that don't zip close!
Variegated Frit chrysalises are very pretty, BTW! I am attaching a photo by our very own Sandy (butterflyok).
Here is a link that might be useful: Variegated Fritillary Chrysalis
Oh, Susan, they are pretty!!! I went out looking tonight for the caterpillar, but he was hiding. I think I spied a gulf frit egg though on the p.caerulea. I'm hoping to get to raise a few this year, it was so much fun!
I have found the best time to look for them is around 6pm and on, and in the early a.m. around 7am.
They hide during the day, feeding mostly at night. I haven't brought any in to raise myself. Too much going on with trying to get veggies started, transplanted, and other garden chores.
I have Gulf Frit eggs now, too, as I am sure you do. I have so many eggs/cats this year, it is hard to keep up with them - Monarch, Black Swallowtail, Red Admiral, Question Mark, Sleepy Orange, Hackberry Emperor and probably Tawny Emperor, too.
Are you growing veggies this year?
I'm growing a few veggies. A couple tomatoes and peppers that I picked up at the Spring Fling. I planted them in a different spot, so I'll see if they do better in that part of the bed. I think I had them in too much shade.
I also found seeds for some of Seedmama's famous squashes in my seed stash, so I'm hoping to plant those this week.
(sorry to take over your thread, Tiger Dawn!) :)
TigerDawn - I just now reread your post about the chrysalis on a Daylily leaf. Most butterflies wander before pupating, empty their gut (purging), and then fasten themselves to something other than their host plant, to shed their skin a final time to reveal the chrysalis. Many larvae can navigate great distances before they finally find a spot to pupate. That's not to say they don't ever pupate on the host plant, but generally speaking, they do tend to go "walk-about" in the garden.
OT - I'm growing about 10-12 Tomato plants, 5 peppers, several Okras (dwarf) in the ground, about 4 cukes, several squash (scallop, yellow, and Zuke), several bean varieties, a couple each of dwarf Watermelon, Canteloupe, and Pumpkin.