Subject: caterpillar on lamb’s ears
Location: San Diego, CA
June 24, 2017 6:49 pm
Hello,
I have a plant that just popped up in my garden and think it’s a lamb’s ears. Each tip of the tallest 5-7 branches have been folded up into caterpillar homes. See picture… Do you have any idea what they might be?
Thank you!
Signature: Judy Sharp

American Lady Caterpillar

Dear Judy,
This distinctive caterpillar is an American Lady Caterpillar,
Vanessa virginiensis.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on Cudweeds, Everlastings and Pussytoes – Gnaphalium, Anaphalis, Antennaria.”  BugGuide also makes reference to the caterpillars making “leaf shelters” and there is a nice image on BugGuide with the caption “The larva weaves the leaves together and feeds inside the shelter.”

Thank you Daniel,
That’s exactly what they are doing – “weaving” for shelter. I see no signs of them feeding on any leaves. I hope they survive. I look forward to seeing them as butterflies. 🙂
Judy

Dear Judy,
We would love any images you can send of chrysalides or adults once they emerge.

Location: San Diego, California

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