Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Beetles, caterpillars and a chysalis

Variegated fritillary chrysalis

Last night, when we were pulling Malta star-thistle in the Meadow, I came across this BEAUTIFUL chrysalis attached to a thistle stem. In the light, it seemingly has gold flecks. On our way back to the house, I showed the chrysalis to our neighbors across the street. They were impressed, too. Near where I found the chrysalis, I found variegated fritillary caterpillars, munching (see photos below I shot today). Sure enough, that's the species of my stunning chrysalis.

This one was about to go into chrysalis mode.

Not sure what these little beetles are, but many are in the Meadow right now.
(UPDATE--Yikes, those were Phaedon desotonis! They later turned into an infestation!)

Acmaeodera ornatoides (per Richard Westcott on on Texas yellowstar (Lindheimera texana). 
The beetle has to be in the Buprestid family of metallic wood-boring beetles.
 The same beetle species on a dandelion.


Steph@RamblingWren said...

That is stunning. I've seen gulf fritillary caterpillars, but never variegated fritillary caterpillars. How cool:)

Anonymous said...

What butterfly does this grow to be? I've picked this caterpillars off my violas. Didn't know if they were a good bug or bad.

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Variegated fritillary. If you click on the name under the photo,you can link to the species.

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