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Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar

Posted by misssherry Z8/9MS (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 13, 12 at 19:54

I went up front to the main road 'meadow' to see if there were any more buckeye cats on the agalinis. I had just started looking and found this "big buckeye"! :)

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The cat hasn't moved off the agalinis, so I'm thinking it's probably ready to make its cocoon. I brought the cat in to a cage and put a piece of fresh agalinis in with it in case it's still eating. I've never found a salt marsh moth caterpillar on the same host plant twice, they're real generalists. It kept its head down at all times, so I couldn't see its head to see if it has the diagnostic yellow line, but I'm pretty sure this is a salt marsh moth cat.

I think they're very attractive, and the adults are beauties!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar

I rarely see these anymore. When I was a kid in Toledo, I found them on milkweed very often.

RE: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar

Excellent photo, Miss Sherry.


RE: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar

I think these caterpillars (commonly called Wooly Bears) wander extensively before settling in for the winter, and their palates are not very selective because they eat a large variety of plants.

I have fond memories of these caterpillars, too. I have never found one in OKC, but found a lot of them in SE Kansas where I grew up.


RE: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar

Well, to my surprise, the cat ate some of the agalinis, so I added more to the cage. I don't know when it will cocoon, probably soon.
I hope these moths aren't getting scarce!


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