Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blooms and bug stuff

Dandelions hosting a beetle party.

The passionflower vine's blooming.

In the past several weeks, we have noticed numerous caterpillars around our Wildscape that look similar to this one (photographed on a salvia)–black and dead. I saw one on a cement bench. Five (different locations) atop bricks on the exterior of our house. On a rose of Sharon. On a wooden fence. So I asked the experts at Bugguide.net. "Possibly baculovirus...they cause caterpillars to liquefy and eventually splash new virus paricles onto the leaf, which may then be consumed by more caterpillars," replied Ian Stocks. He pointed me to an academic article in the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology: "A newly discovered baculovirus induces reflex bleeding in Heliconius himera." Oh, my!

Woolly butterflybush

Rue's blooming (host plant for black swallowtail).

1 comment:

Lancashire rose said...

Now if that were a tomato horn worm I wouldn't be too unhappy! Love your wooly butterfly bush.

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