CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Emerald Moth Caterpillar (Synchlora sp.)
This species adorn itself with remants of flowers and leaves as camouflage. Most caterpillars feed on Compositae. They also feed on other plant families such as Rosaceae and Polygonaceae and some are polyphagous.
Shown on Florida Native Plant: OAKLEAF FLEABANE (Erigeron quercifolius)
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.
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
Family Geometridae – Geometrid Moths
Subfamily Geometrinae – Emeralds
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)
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Groundselbush Beetle Larvae (caterpillar) (Trirhabda bacharidis)
Larval host: Saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia). Helps keep the somewhat aggressive native shrub in check.
Not the most attractive as adult beetles, but this larvae certainly is eyecatching. I have watched wasps zero in on this important resource to gather as a host for their eggs and to provide food for their own larvae.
Imported to Australia where Baccharis sp. is invasive.
Shown on Florida Native Plant GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia), a.k.a. Saltbush
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/