Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar

This looks a lot like something from Alice in Wonderland, doesn't it? I photographed this Monarch butterfly caterpillar munching on one of my milkweed plants and I honestly did not know they had a head on both ends. No wonder they can defoliate a plant almost overnight. But the milkweed always bounces back and produces more leaves for these beautiful caterpillars. Shot with my iPhone.

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10 comments:

Recycled Cottage & Garden said...

They don't actually have 2 heads, one is camouflage.

Content in a Cottage said...

Recycled Cottage and Garden -- Thank you! That camouflage really works and truly fooled me.
xo, Rosemary

lisa said...

He's a colorful little guy, isn't he? Great picture, Rosemary. Which iPhone do you have?

Linda said...

Rosemary, is your milk weed growing in the garden or in pots? Does it require sun or shade? I want to add some to my garden next year.

The Queen Vee said...

Great photo Rosemary, such beautiful color and so clear.

Pam said...

Great shot, Rosemary. Nature is amazing!

Betty said...

I believe the caterpillar in Alice In Wonderland was named Absolem. Is that right?

Content in a Cottage said...

Linda -- My milkweed planted itself. It grows wild in some nearby fields and long ago I dug up some plants and planted them in my field but they never came back. This is the third year for this one that multiplies each year. It is close to a brick wall next to my Limelight hydrangea. It gets full sun until about 2pm and then it's in open shade. It's considered a weed and it looks pretty bedraggled after the eggs hatch and the caterpillars eat all the leaves but I am so happy to have it to help the Monarchs. You will enjoy having it too.
xo, Rosemary

Linda said...

A lovely woman biologist I recently met invited me to bring three of the grandchildren to her garden to search for and count the caterpillars on her milkweed. Her plants are in pots so she can allow the hungry insects to polish off one plant, then withdraw it and bring out another. I will find out more about her system and if these perennials regrown each year in the pots. I agree, these poor plants do quickly become bedraggled.

Content in a Cottage said...

Linda -- The milkweeds that grow in the field near me are so plentiful they produce the pods that burst and spread their seeds everywhere. In war time this milkweed silk was used to stuff garments for soldiers. I remember playing with it as a child. The Monarchs eat the flowers too so there is nothing left at the end of the season but sticks. I cut it down to the ground after the first killing frost.
Looking forward to more about growing in pots.
xo, Rosemary