Subject: Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars?
Location: Baker, Florida
September 7, 2012 10:00 am
My 6 year old daughter, Ocean Rose, had this very special find in our backyard on September 2, 2012. I’m thinking they may be Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars (because we have alot of those butterflies around here) but wasnt quite sure.
Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars only feed on Passionflower vines. These are Prominent Moth Caterpillars in the genus Datana, but the different species in the genus have similar looking caterpillars and there is also much variability within each species with regard to markings and coloration. The posture they assume, with both head and tail end arched above the middle is typical of Datana caterpillars when they are disturbed. If we knew what plant they were feeding upon, we might be able to determine the species. See BugGuide for additional information on the genus Datana.