Archive

Caterpillars

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Cassius Blue Butterfly Caterpillar (Leptotes cassius)

Last week I watched the butterflies laying eggs.  This week I was determined to find larva.  SUCCESS!

Larval Host Plants: Milkpea (Galactia spp.), Leadwort (Plumbago spp.), wild tamarind (Lysiloma latisiliquum)

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly/cassius_blue.htm

Learn more: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/wildflowers/butterfly/cassius-blue/

Learn more: VIDEO of ant interacting with a caterpillar: http://www.terranat.com/default.html?recid=132_notes

Shown on Florida Native Plant: DOCTORBUSH (Plumbago zeylanica)

Photos of egg and late instars: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/11/14/cassius-blue-butterfly-leptotes-cassius-egglarvae/

Photo of female adult: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2019/11/05/cassius-blue-butterfly-leptotes-cassius-laying-eggs/

###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar (Estigmene acrea)

Native hosts include Dogfennel, Pillpod Sandmat and other potentially aggressive species such as the Bidens alba shown in the photo.

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: http://bugguide.net/node/view/3242

Learn more: http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/saltmarsh_caterpillar.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly Caterpillar (Phoebis sennae)

adult: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/cloudless-sulphur-phoebis-sennae/

Larval hosts: Partridge pea (Cassia fasciculata), sensitive pea (Cassia nictitans), sicklepd senna (Cassia obtusifolia), coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis), candle plant (Cassia alata)

Learn: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/wildflowers/butterfly/cloudless-sulphur/

Shown on Florida Native Plant: SENSITIVE PEA (Chamaecrista nictitans var. aspera)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/are-you-what-you-eat-in-the-wildlife-garden/

###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Bagworm Moth Caterpillar/Pupa likely Abbot’s Bagworm Moth (Oiketicus abbotii)

bagworms are merely moth caterpillars dress in twigs or other plant materials.  II think this one is in the pupal stage.

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/Creatures/MISC/MOTHS/bagworm.htm

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/its-in-the-bagin-the-garden/

Take 2: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/barbecued-bagworm-moths/

###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Bagworm Moth Caterpillar (Family Psychidae)

Bagworm Moth Caterpillar (Family Psychidae)

These moth caterpillars adorn themselves with various organic materials including leaf debris, constructing a protective case out of them. What you find may not be the pupal stage (this one is actively feeding), although they also pupate inside the “bag”.

Some host on lichens, others, such as this species, on plant material.

Predators include ichneumon wasps, birds mammals and reptiles.

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/122

Shown on Florida Native Plant: TROPICAL SAGE; BLOOD SAGE (Salvia coccinea)

My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/its-in-the-bagin-the-garden/

Take II: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/barbecued-bagworm-moths/

###

CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Blackberry Looper Moth Caterpillar (Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria)

New to my buggy life list. My encounter was submitted and accepted to add this species to the Osceola county Florida checklist at butterfliesandmoths.org
https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sighting_details/1197878

Family Geometridae – Geometrid Moths
Subfamily Geometrinae – Emeralds
Tribe Hemitheini

Learn: https://bugguide.net/node/view/33362

Larval host:  generalist feeder, there are 31 listed hosts in the The Natural History Museum (London) HOSTS a Database of the World’s Lepidopteran Hostplants

“…larvae typically fed on the flowers of the hosts, especially in the Asteraceae. Wagner et al. (2002) list a variety of common hosts and note
the larvae also feed on leaves and fleshy fruits.” source: Larval Hostplants of Geometridae (Lepidoptera) Collected by Dale H. Habeck in Florida,” 116(1)
Deborah L. Matthews, Charles V. Covell, Katrina M. Lane, Jacqueline Y. Miller  Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington (1 January 2014)  pg 58)

Photos of adults which are small green moths with tan markings: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Chlorochlamys-chloroleucaria

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  TICKSEED (Coreopsis sp.)

Blackberry Looper Moth Caterpillarr (Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria)

###