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Wild Black Cherry Cats

Posted by misssherry Z8/9SE MS (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 23, 13 at 15:56

When I got some fresh cherry leaves for my red-spotted purple cats, I didn't notice the cherry dagger moth caterpillar on it. After I got it in the cage, I saw it and started to put it back onto a cherry tree, but changed my mind - I'll raise the moth myself. Red-spotted purples co-exist on cherry trees with many other leps - tiger swallowtails, cherry dagger moths, cecropia moths, tent caterpillars, etc. It reminded me of what a great host tree Prunus serotina is!

 photo CherryCats_zpsb1891bab.jpg

Here's a close-up of the little cherry dagger moth -

 photo CherryDaggerMothCat_zps4abf9982.jpg

The last instar for cherry dagger moths looks very different from the one in the picture, so I'll get to see that one in the flesh.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Wild Black Cherry Cats

Very interesting! I look forward to seeing the follow-up pictures. And the depth of your knowledge always impresses me!

RE: Wild Black Cherry Cats

Sherry, I once posted on the Florida Garden Forum asking what people thought was the best tree for wild life in their area. I stated that I thought it was the Prunus Serotina. It is listed as a host for a bunch of butterflies, including the red-spotted purple, tigers and other butterflies and moths. Also, many birds enjoy the cherries when they ripen.

I have to say, however, that my tree, which is now over forty-feet high does not seem to get many tigers and I can never recall seeing a red-spotted purple. I also have a huge Sweet Bay Magnolia that doesn't seem to attract many tigers. Come to think of it my Spicebush does't attract many spicebush butterflies either. I keep looking for cats and don't see any.

I do have a fine crop of wasps, however.

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