Friday, November 20, 2009

Overwintering Caterpillars

Seeds are one thing to find in winter but caterpillars are quite another. Even though they're still developing it's still possible to find them. I doubt they're worth eating at this time though. On our blueberry bushes all of the leaves have fallen off ... with the exception of these two or three.

From another angle the silk is more easily seen. Within this cluster of leaves is a caterpillar of some overwintering species. Mostly likely a moth of some kind. They'll remain attached to the plant until the spring time when it will hatch and start the cycle all over again.

Our Passion Fruit Vine also houses a caterpillar. Passiflora incarnata is surprisingly native considering how exotic looking it's flower is. This is the first year I've had this plant and it hasn't flowered yet. So for flower pictures I turn to Google Search. The fruit is supposidly edible too. However I'm told this is considered a noxious weed. Not only does it spread by seed but it sends up suckers up to 15 feet from the parent plant. Thankfully I'm at the norther most part of this plant's range so hopefully it will play nice.

Considering how pretty the butterflies are it might be worth having such a plant around. Agraulis species are among the prettiest North America has to offer. The only other butterflys that have the intense orange colors I can really think of are all Milkweed Butterflies like the Monarch. Here's hoping for some bright colors next spring.