Subject: Painted Lady?
Location: Cuernavaca, Mexico, alt: 1580 m
February 25, 2016 9:45 pm
Hi, I’m hoping you can help me again.
All three of the photos below were taken in October 2014, in the same plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico (altitude 1580 m). Those caterpillars were all over that plant for several seasons, until eventually there were enough to kill it. The butterflies are also very common. We believe they’re the same species, but obviously are not 100% sure.
From the caterpillar I thought a Painted Lady or Red Admiral, but the chrysalis and butterfly don’t match.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
This lovely little Brush Footed Butterfly is a White Rayed Patch, Chlosyne ehrenbergii, which we identified on Learn About Butterflies where it states: “The eggs are pale yellow in colour, and laid in batches of up to 200, on the underside of leaves of the foodplant, Buddleia.” We believe the leaves in your images are of butterfly bush or Buddleia, so the caterpillar and chrysalides are most likely the immature stages of the White Rayed Patch. We will check with Keith Wolfe for verification as we cannot seem to locate images of the immature stages, though the appearance of the caterpillar and chrysalides are consistent with other members of the genus.
Keith Wolfe verifies Chrysalis and Imago, but questions Caterpillar
Would you please ask “Peculiarist” to kindly send me (OK to share my email address) ONLY the caterpillar photo at FULL size? The pupae look good for C. ehrenbergii, but the larva appears a little different. Muchas gracias!
Peculiarist Corrects Attachments
As I was updating my page I noticed that this is the same caterpillar I sent before (my photo folders are a bit of a mess, and I had this duplicated in another folder), that was tentatively identified as a Pine Moth caterpillar. They do look alike, but I think with the extra information you have in these three photos White-rayed Patch is a more likely match. The food tree matches.
Thanks for your help, and I’ll be more careful in sending the most complete information I can in the future.
Keith Wolfe supplies some links.
Buenas noches James and Daniel,
Muchas gracias for the corroborating larval image. Being endemic to Mexico, life-history photos of “Mariposa parche negra” are difficult to find online, so here are some examples . . .
Eggs > http://static.inaturalist.org/photos/1425291/large.jpg
Young cats > http://static.inaturalist.org/photos/2065941/large.jpg
Midsize cats > https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/11138108_765723383556971_4136080445991029828_n.jpg?oh=700346af33d15330a4f48de964ad98ed&oe=5756EA21
Mature cat > http://lh3.ggpht.com/NPtIzQX0McHT9D-BdUFwuXNz6U14-xNAXmrVI-ouMnGlXZFSR67Gj29RsDEYXVcrBkWFhXpHvMEhLlz6UbAX=s1200
Chrysalises > https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/v/t1.0-9/1920361_696343820407963_1558468250_n.jpg?oh=c6b7a068d1e9f21e960bc0fd521aad08&oe=575DEF8D
Hostplant > http://lh4.ggpht.com/YeXdxZfu6nyU4EpfKorYTOGjzDrarIGaHwdnujnAIsA_nDLoS8nlcel9FK7zsTlY0ohON_masMW0py-53XowBQ=s1200
Adults > http://butterfliesofamerica.com/chlosyne_ehrenbergii_live1.htm