Caterpillar on poplar leaves
Sun, May 17, 2009 at 1:49 PM
I found these caterpillars on poplar leaves in our field in WNY. I rescued them from the hard freeze we are going to have tonight. I have been unable (yet) to identify them and for curiosity sake I wondered what they may be>
Western New York
Your caterpillars belong to a butterfly in the genus Limenitis, most likely the White Admiral, Limenitis arthemis arthemis. The species, Limenitis arthemis has three subspecies, and the White Admiral is the northern subspecies in the east. Further south the most common subspecies is the Red Spotted Purple and in the western U.S. the dominant subspecies is the Western White Admiral. The three subspecies will interbreed where their ranges overlap, giving way to subspecies intergrades. BugGuide has a wonderful information page on this species. The caterpillars also feed on the leaves of cherry, willow and birch.