I am a ranger at Okefenokee NWR, where we have many species of butterflies. I found this caterpillar on March 28, 2008, on what may be it’s host plant. Can you identify the caterpillar, and, ideally, the plant? Thanks for a great website!
Here’s your caterpillar. Have you figured out the plant yet? See you Monday.
It looks like JR gave you a task for the weekend. The caterpillar is an American Lady Caterpillar, Vanessa virginiensis. We found a website that states: “The larvae, unlike those of the Painted Lady, feed on a comparatively limited range of foodplants. The preferred food sources are plants of the everlasting tribe of the Compositae, such as sweet everlasting ( Graphalium obtusifolium ), pearly everlasting ( Anaphalis margaritacea ), and plantain-leaved pussytoes ( Antennaria plantaginifolia ); they also feed occasionally on burdock ( Arctium ), wormwood ( Artemisia ), and ironweed ( Vernonia ) (Opler and Krizek 1984; Scott 1986).” Additional web searching led us to the Connecticut Botanical Society website. We believe your plant is the Plantain-Leaved Pussytoes, Antennaria plantaginifolia, also known as Woman’s Tobacco.