Archive

Caterpillars

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.

Learn: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/yellowstriped_armyworm.htm

Adult: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/yellow-striped-armyworm-moth-spodoptera-ornithogalli/

Shown on Florida Native Plant:  PINEBARREN GOLDENROD (Solidago fistulosa)

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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)

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/26702

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/

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Caterpillar (Agraulis vanillae)

member of the Brushfooted Butterflies Family (Nymphalidae)

Learn: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wildflower/completebutterflydata.asp?id=28

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:

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

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

Shown on Florida Native Plant: PILLPOD SANDMAT (Euphorbia hirta)

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Coffee-loving Pyrausta Moth Caterpillar (Pyrausta tyralis)

I can officially confirm that this is P. tyralis.  How do I know?  I reared one that was a little older in a container.  Best part is that it was reared using the plant I found it on which was BIDENS ALBA!!!!!!!!!

Small diurnal moth (flies during the day)

Learn: http://bugguide.net/node/view/26387

native larval hosts:

(a) Bidens alba (source:  personal observation)

(b) WILD COFFEE (Psychotria nervosa)
(source: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/data/hostplants/search/list.dsml?searchPageURL=index.dsml&Familyqtype=starts+with&Family=&PFamilyqtype=starts+with&PFamily=&Genusqtype=starts+with&Genus=Pyrausta&PGenusqtype=starts+with&PGenus=&Speciesqtype=starts+with&Species=tyralis&PSpeciesqtype=starts+with&PSpecies=&Country=&sort=Family)

Shown on Florida Native Plant: Bidens alba

Adult from 2016:

coffeemothaug2016

on Bidens alba

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CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: White Checkered-Skipper Butterfly Caterpillar (Pyrgus albescens)

I’d been watching this caterpillar for a few days.  They roll in leaves during the day and I was surprised to find it rolled in a Bidens alba leaf.  It had nipped off a bud from its larval host and then secreted itself making its tent out of the bidens which was growing within the Sida.

8/25/2017

Larval Host Plants: Herbaceous Pants (Malvaceae)—Cuban Jute (Sida rhombifolia) and Common Fanpetals (Sida acuta) [source: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw057%5D

Learn: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Pyrgus-albescens

Special thanks to @AndyBugGuy a.k.a. Andrew D. Warren, Ph.D. for the correct identification.

Earlier instars shown on Florida Native Plant:  CUBAN JUTE; INDIAN HEMP (Sida rhombifolia):

08/17/2017

08/19/2017

Photos of adult from 2013: https://centralfloridacritteroftheday.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/checkered-skipper-butterfly-pyrgus-spp-oileus-or-communis/

 

 

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

saltmarshcaterpillarspiderwortnov2016Native hosts include Dogfennel 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.

This is an early instar.

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: BLUEJACKET; OHIO SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia ohiensis)

I think it has the cutest face.

I think it has the cutest face.

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