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/
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)