American Lady Larva
The American Lady larva is very distinctive with its branched spines and white bands across its abdomen. One of its favorite foods is Pussytoes, a member of the Aster family. The larva feeds inside a shelter it makes by tying up several leaves with silk. In the photograph, the larva has incorporated the flower heads of Pussytoes into its shelter. Not only is the larva feeding and growing inside this 1 ½ ”-long cavity, it also shed its skin. To see an adult American Lady butterfly, go to http://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/american-lady-common-milkweed-pollinia/ . Soon after the larva forms a chrysalis and pupates, a butterfly emerges and starts its migration south for the winter.
This entry was posted on August 17, 2012 by Mary Holland. It was filed under Arthropods, August, Butterflies, Caterpillars, Insect Signs, Insects, Invertebrates, Larvae, Lepidoptera, Metamorphosis, Molts and was tagged with American Lady, American Lady Butterfly, Antennaria, Asteraceae, Asters, Insect Diets, insects, Invertebrates, Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Pussytoes, Vanessa virginiensis.