Carterpillar in Passifloras

perezjuanf(10a)June 8, 2013

I have been noticing that the passifloras are having their leaves being eaten, today I noticed various carterpillars picture of it is being attached

Would these be the culprit one?

If so, should I kill them?

What would be the best way to get rid of them?

Would Neem Oil work on them?

Thanks

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subtrop(10b)

This is will turn into the Gulf Fritillary butterfly. Unfortunatetly they eat our beloved passion fruit leaves. If you have paperwasps that'll be good, they do eat the tiny caterpillars and you don't have to worry about removing them or the tiny yellow eggs.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 10:59PM
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mark4321_gw

There's a product, which is considered fully biological and organic, called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). a naturally occurring bacterium that will do them in. It lives in their gut, killing the larvae. You should be able to find it at your best local garden center. If not, like most other things it can no doubt be found online or via Ebay.

As an aside: there is a variety of Bt that specifically kills mosquitoes and fungus gnats: Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis, the active ingredient in "Mosquito Dunks". This should give you an idea as to the specificity of various strains of this organism.

If you do a search you may run across some controversy regarding crops genetically engineered to contain genes from this microorganism (Bt). However, as far as I am aware the original biological control itself is fully endorsed by organic gardening groups, and considered by them far preferable to use of pesticides. It should be compared to releasing lady bugs, in my opinion.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 11:42PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

What??? :) The gulf fritillary is a beautiful butterfly. I grow my passionvines especially for food for the gulf frit cats. They won't kill the vine, let them eat :) The butterfly forum often talks about how quickly passionvine bounces back.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 11:14PM
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mark4321_gw

I think we all value different types of life differently. Hopefully the value we give human life is way off scale compared to other forms of life. We should always treat each other with humanity and compassion.

However, when it comes down to the choice of whether particular invertebrates are more valuable than our cherished plants, that is reasonably left up to the individual. I personally think that tomato/tobacco hornworms (which become hovering, nocturnal hummingbird-like insects as adults) are far more fascinating than Gulf fritillaries. Even so, I think it's a gardener's right to protect his tomatoes if he or she so chooses.

The amount of damage caterpillars can cause to a rampant P. incarnata vine may be different than that caused to a difficult variety or to an immature plant.

I have personally never used Bt on my Passionflowers. I recently observed a gulf fritillary laying eggs all over my plants; I let it. I have yet to see a caterpillar, perhaps because I have so many predator insects and spiders in my yard. Would I favor a praying mantis over a gulf fritillary? Absolutely. I'd even sacrifice a flower or two if it amounted to that. That's my choice.`

This post was edited by mark4321 on Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 0:20

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 12:17AM
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