CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly Chrysalis (Papilio polyxenes)
Spotted on a rush stem in the culvert. Surrounded by the larval host, water cowbane.
Larval host: carrot family (Apiaceae) including parsley (Petroselinium crispum), dill (Anthum graveolens), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), mock bishop’s weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)
In my yard they use Florida Native Plant WATER COWBANE (Tiedemannia filiformis).
Despite having mock bishops weed in my yard, I have never seen this species use it.
There are color variations in adults.
Learn more: http://butterfliesofamerica.com/t/Papilio_polyxenes_a.htm
Photos of most phases from egg to adult: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/eastern-black-swallowtail-butterfly-caterpillar-papilio-polyxenes/
Eastern Black Swallowtail Chrysalis (Papilio polyxenes)
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/moving-day-black-swallowtail-butterfly/
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar (Papilio troilus)
Larval host: Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), red bay (Persea borbonia), swamp bay (Persea palustris) and the category I invasive camphortree (Cinnamomum camphora)
Shown on Florida Native Plant: SWAMP BAY (Persea palustris)
Photos of Adult: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/spicebush-swallowtail-butterfly-papilio-troilus/
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Yellow-Striped Armyworm Moth Caterpillar (Spodoptera ornithogalli)
Generalist who eat multiple crops so not a favorite with farmers. There are many native hosts and they are parasitize by wasps and tachinid fly which are needed pollinators. Also preyed upon by the likes of damsel, big-eyed and pirate bugs making these moths have an important roll in the circle of life.
Larval host: include but are not limited to Florida native Rumex sp., Lactuca sp. and Plantago sp.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Clouded Crimson Moth Caterpillar (Schinia gaurae)
looks like an anorexic Monarch caterpillar. This one was tiny….very early instar.
Larval host: SOUTHERN BEEBLOSSOM (Oenothera simulans)
Shown on Florida Native Plant: SOUTHERN BEEBLOSSOM (Oenothera simulans) (synonym: Gaura angustifolia), the larval host.
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/just-in-time-for-national-moth-week-2014/
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Caterpillar (Agraulis vanillae)
member of the Brushfooted Butterflies Family (Nymphalidae)
Larval hosts: maypop (Passiflora incarnata), yellow passion flower (Passiflora lutea), corky-stemmed passion flower (Passiflora suberosa)
Shown on Florida Native Plant: PURPLE PASSIONFLOWER (Passiflora incarnata)
Mating Pair From June 2014:
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar (Estigmene acrea)
Native hosts include Dogfennel, Pillpod Sandmat and other potentially aggressive species.
Serves as a host for other species such as tachinid flies and Hymenopterans (Bees, Wasps and Sawflies) which parasitized the eggs/larvae.
Larvae feed on a variety of plants including “cash crops”, so not a favorite with farmers.
Coloring can be highly variable: http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=8131
Learn more: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/saltmarsh_caterpillar.htm
Shown on Florida Native Plant: PILLPOD SANDMAT (Euphorbia hirta)