pretty yellow caterpillars devouring my shrub
We’ve got lots of these guys all over a yellow flowering tree/shrub in our yard (not esperanza). We’ve never seen them before because this is the first year the tree/shrub is flowering. It had been in a dry, shady spot prior but this spring we moved it to a sunny area where it benefits from our sprinkler system and so now is flowering like crazy. And these guys have moved in and are busily munching away. What are they?
Northwest Austin Thank you!

Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar

Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar

Hi Vicki,
Losing a few blossoms is a small price to pay for the reward of the numerous clear yellow, fast flying Cloudless Sulphur Butterflies, Phoebis sennae, that will fly about your garden after the metamorphosis is complete. Interestingly, Cloudless Sulphur caterpillars that feed on the leaves of Cassia are green, and those that feed on the flowers are yellow.

6 Responses to Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar

  1. veek says:

    When you first identified the little guys for me, I googled them and saw all these photos of bright green caterpillars. I was thinking “But my guys are bright yellow – they don’t look the same!”. Thanks for clearing it up for me – I have flower-munchers. And lots of them!! Luckily my cassia is in massive bloom so I don’t mind sharing it with the caterpillars.

  2. veek says:

    hey! where did they go? my cassia was full of them and today i checked and they are gone (as are all the cassia flowers) but no chrysalises! i was expecting to enjoy watching to whole process but they chewed and blew outta dodge. ingrates!

  3. bugman says:

    Hi Veek,
    Perhaps your caterpillars left in mass to find a good location for pupation. Caterpillars often leave the food plant and seek shelter elsewhere.

  4. sally says:

    my son found one we put it in an open top jar it made its way into a corner and immediately turned into a green and orange cocoon . we’ve had it almost a week and are wondering how long until it hatches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *