Currently viewing the category: "butterfly caterpillars"

Subject:  Monarch Emerges from Chrysalis
Geographic location of the bug: Elyria Canyon State Park, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/09/2021
Time: 8:51 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
Last week Daniel informed you that while hiking in Elyria Canyon Park as post-operative knee therapy, he found a Monarch Chrysalis and Caterpillar on native Aesclepias eriocarpa.  Every day or two Daniel had been hiking back to check out the progress and yesterday the chrysalis appeared noticeably darker.

Monarch Chrysalis Day 10

Then this morning at 7:45 AM, the much awaited moment of translucence and the pattern of the wings showing through the exoskeleton.  Daniel sat on the bench to text the images to a few folk and then he laid down in the shade and listened to the birds, and an hour later, he realized that though he had missed the actual eclosion, he was still able to experience the mystery of metamorphosis and to view the helplessness of the newly transformed adult Monarch whose wings had not yet hardened and it was not yet able to fly.

Monarch Chrysalis Day 11

Despite missing the actual eclosion, Daniel was still witness to the hatchling testing out its strange new proboscis and auxiliary mouthparts.

Eclosion one hour later

Daniel writes:  “This new imago, though helpless, was adapting to its new vision thanks to the transformation of the visual sensation through complex compound eyes.  For about a half an hour I watched the adult Monarch feeling the breeze and testing the use of its new muscles in preparation for its maiden flight.  When I got close to take an image it was obvious the creature sensed me and potential threat because it appeared to quiver and to cower.  Not wanting my presence to interfere in the success of the transformation, I left thinking I might check up on it later in the afternoon, and to collect the remains of the exuvia.  I did note that there were no blossoms on the milkweeds in the patch.  All the blossoms seem to have withered and I pondered how much more successful a first flight would be after a first meal of milkweed nectar.  As I started my hike this morning, on my way into the canyon I watched an adult Monarch taking nectar from the blossoms of a patch of geraniums, but I reacted too slowly to get an image with the magicphone.”

Close-up of newly eclosed Monarch

 

Subject:  Monarch Caterpillar and Chrysalis on Indian Milkweed
Geographic location of the bug: Elyria Canyon State Park, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/29/2021
Time: 8:30 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
As part of physical therapy rehabilitation for knee surgery, Daniel has begun hiking again, and this morning he was pleased to find first a Monarch Chrysalis and then a Monarch Caterpillar feeding on Kotolo or Indian or Wooley Milkweek,
Aesclepius eriocarpa, in Elyria Canyon State Park.

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Chrysalis

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Cary NC
Date: 06/15/2021
Time: 03:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this little guy nibbling on my corn leaves. Would love to know what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Winters

Probably Clouded Skipper Caterpillar

Dear Winters,
We believe based on this BugGuide image that you have a Clouded Skipper Caterpillar,
Lerema accius.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillars host on grasses” and since Corn is a grass, it is a possible food plant.  According to the Alabama Butterfly Atlas:  “The caterpillar is greenish-white with a mid-dorsal dark stripe and two white lateral stripes. The head is white with a black margin and three vertical black stripes on the facial region. The body is covered with numerous minute white dots.”

Probably Clouded Skipper Caterpillar

Subject:  Unidentified Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Near Houston Texas
Date: 07/06/2020
Time: 04:22 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My mom and I found this caterpillar among her milkweed plants. She raises monarch butterflies, but this one is new. Neither of us have ever seen this kind of caterpillar before.
It was found July 6th, 2020, at around 3:15 PM.
How you want your letter signed:  Kris Prodoehl

Queen Caterpillar

Dear Chris,
The Monarch is not the only Milkweed Butterfly in the genus
Danaus that is found in Texas.  We believe your caterpillar is that of the related Queen Butterfly, Danaus gilippus, which is pictured on BugGuide.  Queen Caterpillars look similar to Monarch Caterpillars, but they have an additional set of “tentacles” and you were quite astute to observe this difference.

Subject:  Bad Spot to Chrysalize
Geographic location of the bug:  West Los Angeles
Date: 02/28/2020
Time: 01:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Guess I’ll need to be extra careful when watering the plants in my back yard.  Can you identify what will emerge from this chrysalis?
Thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Probably Brush Footed Butterfly Chrysalis

Hi Jeff,
This is definitely a butterfly chrysalis, and we are pretty certain it is a Brush-Footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, but we have not had luck with a definitive identification.  This is a rather distinctive chrysalis and we don’t know why the identification is giving us trouble.  We will attempt to contact Keith Wolfe for assistance.

Probably Brush Footed Butterfly Chrysalis

Thanks Bugman,
At first I thought it might be a Gulf Fritillary, but the small “threads” protruding at the end ruled that out. Haven’t seen a Brush-Footed Butterfly in my back yard before, so I’m hoping to be there for the emergence.
Jeff

Subject:  Orange Dog
Geographic location of the bug:  Francestown, NH
Date: 10/04/2019
Time: 02:25 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This is in reference to my 2012 post of a Giant Swallowtail Butterfly here: https://www.whatsthatbug.com/2012/08/07/giant-swallowtail-in-new-hampshire
After 7 years finally noticed half a dozen or so on a Gas plant(Dictamnus albus).
How you want your letter signed:  alf

Orange Dog

Dear alf,
Thanks so much for providing documentation of Orange Dogs in your New Hampshire garden seven years after first seeing an adult Giant Swallowtail, a species reported in Vermont on BugGuide, but not in New Hampshire.  According to the Missouri Botanical Garden site, Gas Plant is in the citrus family Rutacea, which is consistent with BugGuide information on larval food plants.