Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Silver-spotted Skipper

In my last post I asked if you can guess the identity of this forlorn looking creature.
Caterpillar of the Silver-spotted Skipper - Epargyreus clarus
 Of course it would help to see the whole critter.  This lime-green caterpillar with its big head, yellow eyes (fake ones), and little red neck...
 is the larva of the Silver-spotted Skipper.
 I found the caterpillar in this leaf shelter.  
 The shelter was made from a single jewelweed leaf that was tied with silk.  I don't know if the caterpillar was feeding on the jewelweed or just camping there for the night.  There were some Black Locust trees close by. 
Soon after I found the leaf shelter I pulled it part way open to reveal the caterpillar.
Silver-spotted Skipper caterpillar - Epargyreus clarus
That wilted leaf shelter (jewelweed loses its turgor rather quickly)  looks like a mummy sleeping bag.
Here is a photo of a Silver-spotted Skipper.
   The males have an interesting habit of perching in a prominent spot or
on tall vegetation, and chasing "almost anything that flies by".
 The skipper in the picture above was holding sway over the milkweed patch.

Silver-spotted Skipper - Epargyreus clarus
  So, my forlorn-looking, big-headed, redneck turns into the milkweed patch bully.

1 comment:

  1. Thought those eyes looked phoney.

    That "sleeping bag" is amazing. You can almost see the "stitches"