Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Native Plants Attract Native Insects - UPDATE

Over the weekend we noticed that something had been munching on the Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) plants in our yard.  Upon looking closer, we found that our Garden Columbines (A. vulgaris) had also been attacked.  The culprit?

These are NOT Columbine Duskywing caterpillars

Initially I thought these were the caterpillars of a species of butterfly called the Columbine Duskywing (Erynnis lucilius).  Columbine Duskywing caterpillars feed exclusively on the foliage of Columbine plants.  In the picture below I can count at least nine larvae .  It didn't take them long to completely defoliate some of the plants.
It was only when one of these larvae spun a cocoon and then emerged as an adult that I realized that I had made an error in identification.  Click here for an update on the proper identification of these larvae.

How many larvae can you find? 

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