SoCal Caterpillar, Agraulis vanillae?
Location: La Crescenta/Montrose California
March 14, 2012 3:45 pm
Hi Bugman! I came across a caterpillar today and tried figuring out what it was. Due to just moving here from Florida, I’m sure my area has tons of new bugs (including the giant black widow I found a while back!!) It looked like an Agraulis vanillae BUT it’s a bit different. It’s black/gray with 2 tight red/orange striped along its back. The spikes are NOT clumps of hairs, but actual single spikes.
I took 2 photos. 1 is on the concrete of my porch where I found it. The other is where I put it; a white rose tree.
Please forgive my photos. All I had near me was my phone, but I think the photos are good enough.
Signature: Thank you!
Though your caterpillar resembles that of the Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae, it is actually that of a Mourning Cloak, a lovely large purplish, black butterfly with creamy wing edges and blue spots. Mourning Cloak Caterpillars feed on native willows but they are very content to feed upon the leaves of cultivated Chinese elm as well.