Monday, June 7, 2010

Macro Monday #3 - What Butterfly Am I?

While deadheading the Pussy Toes (Antennaria rosea), I noticed this handsome guy taking a snooze in the foliage.  I don't recognize it in its larval form for the butterfly or moth that it will become. Do you?

It's about two inches long and when I disturbed it, it was very lethargic.  Perhaps it's getting ready to pupate. If you know what it is, please tell!

Update: Thank you to @PWFourStar, @AboutInsects, Nathan(2af), mr_subjunctive, and Lisa at Greenbow for identifying this caterpillar as the larval form of the American Lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis). It is closely related to the Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).  They are warm-weather residents here in Ohio, migrating south to Texas and other southern states for the winter. 

They're commonly found right where I found this one - on Antennaria sp., where they roll up in the leaves and secure it closed with silk strands. They're fans of Artemesia, too, which I've got near the Pussy Toes.

For more Macro Monday photos, visit Lisa's Chaos.


Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Kylee, So interesting. I don't know, but found this site: Putting in criteria, I still didn't find it, but there sure are some interesting-looking caterpillars out there!

Nathan (2af) said...

American Painted Lady, Vanessa virginiensis. The size and thickness of their markings can vary but the type is always consistent. Look specifically at how the red bands are made of dots and also look the yellow-green dots running parallel down the back. One of their main larval foods in pussy toes as well.

mr_subjunctive said...

American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis)?

Lona said...

Hi Kylee. I do not have a clue but it is such a pretty caterpillar. It is hard to tell which end is up though LOL!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I believe this is an American Lady caterpillar. This is a great shot.

Kylee Baumle said...

Monica ~ It's been identified, but that's a really cool site that I'm sure will come in handy at some future time! Thanks!

Nathan ~ Bingo! You nailed it! I'm glad to know this beautiful caterpillar will turn into a beautiful butterfly as well. I love its markings.

mr_subjunctive ~ Thanks for chiming in and confirming. I'll keep my eyes open for more of these!

Lisa ~ Thanks for yet another confirmation!

Diana said...

Mystery solved. I had no idea what it was, but was glad to learn that pretty butterfly might find her way down here!

blogger templates | Make Money Online