General Discussion:

Caterpillars to butterflies?

Messages posted to thread:

Carol04-Jul-00 10:19 AM EST   
Marg07-Jul-00 08:20 AM EST   
Barbie17-Jul-01 12:46 PM EST 5b   
Carol17-Jul-01 04:46 PM EST 5a   
Joanne17-Jul-01 08:41 PM EST 5a   
Kathy17-Jul-01 09:35 PM EST 5a   
Brian @ P&P Plants20-Jul-01 01:17 AM EST 3   

Subject: Caterpillars to butterflies?
From: Carol
Date: 04-Jul-00 10:19 AM EST

I have a few caterpillars in 2 containers eating the leaves of licorice plant (helichrysum). They are over an inch long, with yellow and black stripes and yellow dots on their back. I'm wondering if these are a type of caterpillar that will turn into butterflies. If so, I'll happily sacrifice a few leaves! They are only eating the leaves of that plant and seem to be leaving other plants in the containers alone. Does anyone know if these are butterfly caterpillars?

Subject: RE: Caterpillars to butterflies?
From: Marg
Date: 07-Jul-00 08:20 AM EST

Sounds like a future monarch to me.

Subject: RE: Caterpillars to butterflies?
From: Barbie
Zone: 5b
Date: 17-Jul-01 12:46 PM EST

Marg, I had exactly the same invasion on my licorice plant. The plant was being deterred by all of the cocoons - with hundred of eggs, and the caterpillars were black with gold dots on their backs. Being concerned about the spread to other plants in my garden, I removed all of the cocoons and killed the caterpillars, and then dusted with an incesticide. Earlier in the year, one of my lilacs was ravaged by caterpillars, and I did not want to have a repeat of that. If someone thinks that these caterpillars and the subsequent cocoons filled with eggs were about to become Monarch Butterflies, should I have gone through this removal process or just left them alone to breed?

Subject: RE: Caterpillars to butterflies?
From: Carol
Zone: 5a
Date: 17-Jul-01 04:46 PM EST

Round 2! I got the same invasion this year on the same plant. I tossed the affected leaves into the "back 40" (woods). This week I'm finding the odd full grown caterpillar which I'm also throwing back where it can feed on something larger than my potted plants. I haven't seen it on any other plants, so next year, maybe I'll just avoid using licorice plants.

Subject: RE: Caterpillars to butterflies?
From: Joanne
Zone: 5a
Date: 17-Jul-01 08:41 PM EST

I've got the same black caterpillars in my garden. Last year I grew licorice plants that were hugh. This year only one plant survived, and it's been whittled down by these bugs. My pussies' toes and silver brocade artemesia has suffered the same fate. I know that they are not monarch caterpillars, as those larvae must feed on milkweed type plants.

Subject: RE: Caterpillars to butterflies?
From: Kathy
Zone: 5a
Date: 17-Jul-01 09:35 PM EST

If they are black and lime green stripes with yellow dots, they could be black swallowtail larvae. They ate my parsley!

Subject: RE: Caterpillars to butterflies?
From: Brian @ P&P Plants
Zone: 3
Date: 20-Jul-01 01:17 AM EST

The Queen Butterfly has its caterpillar that is similiar. It is up to 2 inches, brownish-white, with dark brown-black and yellow crossbands and yellow or yellow-green side stripes; has pairs ofdark filamants, 2 longer pairs toward front and 1 shorter pair near rear.

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