Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Caterpillars on Sunflower and Coneflower

Posted by butterflymomok 7a (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 22:00

The Gorgone Checkerspots have been hanging around the garden this spring, so the caterpillars on the sunflower and coneflower may be from these visitors. They totally strip the surface of the leaves, leaving behind what looks like a burnt shriveled "leaf" skeleton. I've had them once before about 5 years ago. There are hundreds and hundreds of these larvae. They are small, dark, bristly, and work in groups. The larvae of the
Checkerspots are similar. So there will be an abundance of one of these butterflies soon. Will have to watch to see if the birds go after the larvae. I'll bring in a few of the caterpillars to raise them to document and ID them.

It's becoming quite the caterpillar year. Found lots of eggs on the Spicebush, and will bring in some of the cats to raise. My Buckeye caterpillar is now a chrysalis--he really purged before he pupated. And the Monarch cats are almost grown. This is the last of 3 batches totaling about 50 this year. Black Swallowtails discovered the fennel and dill recently, and there are lots of eggs and small cats. Raised and released Am Ladies and Pipevines. Watched two female PVs laying more eggs today and continue to find Am Lady nests. These will stay outside. There are Variegated Fritillaries all over the garden. Raised one batch, but will leave them to fend for themselves. The first Goatweed Leafwing is pupating. There had to be hundreds of eggs laid on the croton which came up in abundance in the garden this spring. Brought a few in to raise. Dearly love these little caterpillars. One Giant Swallowtail has been released, and one is still pupating. And the Senna is covered with Orange Sulphurs and Sleepy Orange eggs. The Genista Broom Moth larvae are back, but I'm getting rid of them. They literally killed several of my Baptisias, and the ones that survived did not bloom--so beware. For a year that started slow, it's getting crazy here!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Caterpillars on Sunflower and Coneflower

Fantastic, Sandy! You've released an incredible number of monarchs, and such a variety of butterfly larvae!

I hope you'll post pictures of the checkerspots. I don't get them here, I'm too far east for even silvery checkerspots.



 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here