It’s mainly all black and fuzzy, but does look to have some orange stripes in between the black fuzzy. Monarch caterpillars do not feed on tomato plants, despite what may seem like circumstantial evidence to the contrary. I’ve stopped many places on road sides and very few monarch catapillars. Anonymous users messages may be delayed. Some of us are planning a trip to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in late October to visit all the butterfly nature centers down there, including the National Butterfly Center in Mission, TX, supported by the North American Butterfly Association. My butterfly bushes are covered with monarch caterpillars and I want them to thrive. They eat milkweed leaves. 4. Any idea what they could be? I’ll pinch it back so it doesn’t get floppy. Yes, today I witnessed a wasp attack my monarch caterpillar. Keene, for example, usually sticks to researching fruit flies and cave fish. In southern georgian bay, ontario we have a bumper crop of monarchs and they are flying everywhere right now. Have yet to see any Monarch caterpillars, though I’ve seen a few butterflies flitting about. Like the monarch caterpillars, the larva of the milkweed tussock moth, also called the milkweed tiger moth, eats only milkweed which makes them poisonous to predators. Some excellent resources to get you started and keep you going: You are currently not signed in. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)Talk about not getting the memo. Have you seen any of these other milkweed feeders? Sorry this is so long MM………. Monarch caterpillars that are abnormally dark. I’ll discard any leaves with eggs of tussock moths and milkweed bugs. Food? Each time it sheds its skin it emerges a bigger, brighter version of itself. Grow milkweed species, the host plant of the monarchs. They can strip a milkweed leaf. Eventually the Cyncia was identified. The Refuge opened in 1943, and as I was born and raised in that part of Texas, it makes me want to cry over the lack of care our leaders have over the natural environment of our country! It’s on my milkweed. We dip a cotton ball into a mixture of honey and water, and place it on a tray, along with a fresh flower or a slice of fruit, such as cantaloupe or watermelon. Here in NW lower Michigan, we are OVERRUN with tussock moth caterpillars this year! I’m in Vermont. This species feeds only on one kind of plant, milkweeds, and it's thought that the poisonous sap of the milkweed gives both the caterpillars and the butterflies protection from predators. This one was very small, maybe a third of an inch total, nondescript color, shaped with a little bit of a flare around the head, and when I tried to move it, it reared up at me as if to threaten me and writhed a lot more than the monarchs do. I like to PIN these articles to my butterfly board. I’m in Minneapolis, MN. Some monarchs take off immediately. today I found a large monarch caterpillar almost ready to go into its chrysalis (sp?) group has several members who are enjoying raising as many different kinds of butterflies and moths. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey). In March, I had 30 caterpillars and 25 of … My first thought: “That ain’t no Monarch.”. That tussock moth caterpillar is a cutie! Thanks for this bit of information. my neighbor and I split the group and are watching them grow. We have the Tussock here in PA as well. Hi, can anyone identify this little caterpillar? Good point! She said they were so numerous the milkweed looked black all over! No Monarchs though. Caught picture at night, masses of them. We have over 60 plants. We are in Garden City, Missouri and I am shocked that I don’t have an aquarium full of monarch caterpillars, eggs and chrysalis’ I haven’t seen one caterpillar yet on my milkweed. I have seen those tussock milkweed caterpillars up here in Southern Canada. Sure miss the Monarchs. The caterpillars will roll up and fall of their leaf/milkweed easily, I assume that is a defensive mechanism. These Monarch larvae are very colorful and voracious feeders. Well, Hello There, Tiny Monarch Caterpillar! I also see hummingbird moths, a variety of wasps and bees, assassin bugs, praying mantis and other moths and butterflies. Any ideas? Are they a pest to monarchs? This time last year I was releasing by the dozens. I need to plant more milkweed, my plants have been bare of leaves and blooms for all the caterpillar activity! We have alot of problems with a flying milkweed (orange and black also) that left unchecked lays eggs and the young destroy the milkweed havent seen many this year till today which i smashed we had a very cold windy week here with wind chills of – 70. Any theories? Thank you, I forgot to add photo Unfortunately the Ntl. Another favorite is the caterpillar that becomes a monarch butterfly. We see Tussock moth caterpillars on milkweed all the time here in Ohio. Many many butterflies down there including some that come across the Rio Grande River into the South Texas region, so we always come away from our trip with more to add to our life list of butterflies……lots of birds too. Copyright 2020 Texas Butterfly Ranch | All Rights Reserved | Website by,,, As ESA listing decision looms, new study challenges “dogmatic narrative” that monarchs are in decline, FREE Festival webinars available: butterflies, bats, bees and metamorphosis, Documentary chronicles year of chaos through lens of monarch butterfly migration, “Bat Man of Mexico” to dispel lies about bats and COVID-19 at FREE webinar, Bee My Honey: FREE webinar to highlight how the food gets on the plate, Butterfly FAQ: Is Relocating a Monarch Chrysalis OK? The question we have is how to keep snails from gathering on the milkweed? My husband and I found a caterpillar eating on milk weed today that we have never seen before. Let the paint dry well. Watch these Monarch caterpillars grow from a tiny worm-like caterpillar to a large green chrysalis. We just found Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars munching on my neighbor’s milkweed. Great article! They have stripes like the Monarch, but the bottom of them are orange. Thank you so much for the information regarding other Milkweed caterpillars. Overall, about 2 or 3 percent of the monarchs make it all the way through their life cycle, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult, scientists estimate. I’m pretty hot about it! the tiny worms now have black and yellow hairs about 1/4″ long. Danaus plexippus: The Monarch This cool caterpillar is always found on some species of milkweed (Asclepias species). So we came home armed with lots of photos and started searching the internet. Host Plant: Members of the Bean and Plumbago Families, especially Plumbago I let them live. Would love to, though. I’ve had quite a few here in Michigan as well. I found a large number (13+) of what I think are Tussock moth caterpillars clustered together on one leaf of a milkweed plant in my flowerbed. 1 to-date. thanks to your website I now know what they are, Thanks. Write to the President, your senators and congress members, and express yourself to your friends and neighbors to help more people get involved. The iconic monarch butterfly has an equally iconic striped caterpillar. They usually won't eat for 24 hours. Like so many other insects that use milkweed as their primary food, this creature expresses the cardiac glycosides found in the latex of the milkweed plants with orange and black coloring. Will it be ok to let it out tomorrow and hope it gets somewhere warmer by tomorrow evening? I think they got lost. Hello. It’s the Striped garden caterpillar, Trichordestra legitimata, which feasts not only on milkweed but other common garden greens–clover, goldenrod, yarrow, grasses and others. We live in Northern Lower Michigan, and we’ve had many tussock moth caterpillars on our milkweed this year. I live in Wisconsin and just found more than a dozen Tussock Moth on my milkweed. They seem to tend to go into the chrysalis very early and don’t wait to get really big before they do it!
2020 skinny monarch caterpillar