Red Spotted Purple Caterpillars

Young caterpillars and hibernaculum – Redspotted Purple
Dear Bugman,
Your site is really fantastic and I would like to make a contribution to your picture collection. So, what I have for you is a hibernaculum, a small caterpillar and a medium sized caterpillar of the Redspotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax). I found them on a bush of Wild Cerry on the 2:nd of May (yesterday)in Madison/Wisconsin close to Lake Mendota, all on the same twig. They are standing on my kitchen table now and I am planning to provide you with more pictures of their development. Last year I was breeding about 10 caterpillars from the same region, and all of them were Redspotted Purples, no White Admirals or mixed forms were between them. Thank you so much for providing such a wonderful site!
Best regards,
Thomas Werner, PhD
Laboratory of Molecular Biology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Hi Thomas,
We are posting your two caterpillar images, but we are having trouble making out the Hibernaculum in the third photo, unless you are speaking about the plant bud.

(05/04/2006)
Hi Bugman,
I am very happy to see my pictures on your side. So, the hibernaculum is the dried little leaf. The caterpillars cut off the distal part of the leaf in autumn, leaving the central part intact and cover it with silk, so that it forms a tube. The hibernaculum is fastened to the twig with silk and doesn’t fall off during winter. I hope I could help you finding it on the picture. My medium sized caterpillar has just molted, so here comes an addition to the collection.
Best regards,
Thomas

Hi again Thomas,
Thanks for the clarification and the addition. You are such a proud father.

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