Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Hungry Caterpillar

I was pruning one of my experimental plants, a Japanese plum tree today. I was just about to grab the leaf that needed to be removed when I noticed some prickly bits underneath. I turned the pot on its side to reveal one of the coolest caterpillars I have ever seen. He must have been very hungry, because most of the leaves had been eaten. I had just assumed that it was not doing well because it was a transplant.

That was not the case, this little guy made this plant his personal buffet. From what I can find on the Internet this is a stinging caterpillar, and it is called the saddleback caterpillar. The brown oval marking kind of looks like a saddle. It is very fun to find great bugs in the back yard.

1 comment:

tina said...

I actually did away with all the saddlebacks on my witch hazel. They can do a lot of damage and the fact they sting (it feels like boiling water is being poured on your skin-I know!) made me take them out. I am not sure how long before they pupate but it is not normally more than a week or so. By the time you see them I think they are about ready to pupate and then turn into a moth. Great shot as he sure does look most hungry. P.S. Where you see one there are most likely more and these are known as slug caterpillars. Icky things they are.