A bucket of Morning Cloak Caterpillars

A bucket of caterpillars
Location: San Diego, CA
June 26, 2011 6:23 pm
My son brought these in today. What are they?
Signature: Misty

Morning Cloak Caterpillars

Hi Misty,
You have a bucket of Morning Cloak Caterpillars.  They will metamorphose into a beautiful purplish black butterfly with cream colored wing edges and blue spots.  It appears that there is one Chinese elm tree leaf in the bucket, and they feed on the leaves of elm as well as willow.  If you try to keep them in captivity, give them plenty of room, like a 10 gallon aquarium with a screen lid.  Feed them fresh leaves each day.  You can cut small branches from the tree.  It would probably be better to return most of them to the tree upon which they were feeding and only keep a few for raising.

Leave a Comment