Wednesday, October 8, 2008

More caterpillars

Today has been such a beautiful day. I carried some reading materials and letters to write so I could sit outside and still be productive. Then I wandered around by the bed of lantanas and Salvia coccineas in the front yard. A butterfly fluttering near the passionflower vines caught my eye. Looked like a Gulf fritillary to me. I'd noticed some caterpillars on the passionflowers recently, which got me to thinking. Could those caterpillars be the larvae of Gulf fritillary butterflies?

A quick look on the Internet, and I was back out the door with my trusty camera. I got one decent shot of the butterfly, then I snapped several of the caterpillars, all in different stages of growth. Ugly things, but kinda pretty, too.

According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, passionflowers (Passiflora incarnata) are a larval plant for Gulf fritillaries. BugGuide.Net also has a photo of a Gulf fritillary caterpillar.

In the past, we might have smashed'em cuz they're eating our vines. Now we know to let them be.

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