28 July, 2012

A Punk Caterpillar on Milkweed and other fun sightings

All the photos below were taken the early evening of July 27th in our front garden.  Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars (Euchaetes egle) were on the Aesclepias plants.  I spotted them when I was looking for Monarch butterfly caterpillars.
They seemed to like eating the flowers.

Although the caterpillars are striking, the adult moths have dull yellow/orange abdomens with black spots and featureless grey wings.
Difficult to tell which end is the head.  But here you can just 
make out the shiny head where it is eating the flower.
The early instars are gregarious, but turn into loners in later instars.
This punk style reminds me of Dean at DDD.  :-)
Also on Aesclepias were these milkweed bugs busily making the next generation...

Neoneides muticus, a stilt bug, also on Aesclepias. These were tiny little things, but obviously adults because they are mating.

The coneflowers have been prolific this year.
This fly was going round and round, systematically visiting each little floret.
Many of the coneflowers were atypical.
"Look - my flower has flowers."  

And finally, a lovely little moth down at the base of Liatris.  Haematopis grataria - Chickweed Geometer.  Female with filiform antennae.


  1. Those Cornflowers are amazing Wilma.

  2. Great photos of your punk caterpillar. I often wonder what my mother used to think about such things. As a nipper of 5 to 6 yrs old I used to collect such creatures on the way home from school and put them in the pockets of my coat to take them home.

  3. Nice looking creature.

    I had a bad experience with caterpillars last summer, I wouldn't want that thing crawling on my neck leaving little venomous barbs.........

  4. Amazing pictures of the caterpillers. They are distructive, but turn into such beautiful things.


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