I had a few butterfly chrysalises from last fall and kept them in the garage all winter. This week I decided it was time to put them outdoors. The next morning, about 10 a.m, I noticed a black swallowtail butterfly had just emerged! The yellow dots indicate it’s a male.
Yes, a white fluffy caterpillar with bright-red shoes! This Spotted Apatelodes (Apatelodes torrefacta) was just one of several caterpillars we discovered and identified at the recent Caterpillar Weekend at Natural Bridge State Resort Park.
The red ‘shoes’ are actually prolegs. Furthermore, I understand this is one of the stinging caterpillars, although I didn’t touch it to find out.
It was a treat to find and identify ‘cats’ with other enthusiasts. I continue to be impressed by the wide variety of caterpillars naturalists have documented in the park. My thanks to Brian and Drew for making it a fun learning experience.
My friend, Spencer, gave me an Imperial moth caterpillar (Eacles imperialis). At about two weeks, it reminded me of a little black dragon.
In my latest caterpillar adventure, I raised a “hickory horned devil.” The name is enough to get most folks’ attention. Mine fed on sweet gum leaves and grew quickly. At about three weeks its horns were quite evident.
I’m delighted that Natural Bridge State Park is hosting their 3rd Caterpillar Weekend, Sept. 11-12.