Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New caterpillars

We noticed them a few days ago on our big common sunflower (formerly a "weed") in the front yard. Yuck. Lots of them. But then I thought I'd go back for a second look today. Here recently, I've gotten more interested in caterpillars because a lot of them, of course, turn into beautiful butterflies. So here goes. I've got my Caterpillars of Eastern North America out, and I'm looking at the index of host plants....they could be silvery checkerspot larvae (Chlosyne nycteis). According to the field guide, these caterpillars are "gregarious, the feeding damage" is conspicuous. That certainly fits! There are masses of these little guys, eating the top layer of the leaves.

And to think we nearly pulled up the 7-foot-high sunflower! (James wanted to do that, not me...shhhh....don't tell him that I tattled on him). I'm so glad we didn't.

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