Caterpillar Feast

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  • #13553

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi all

    I’m going over old files, and found one that I’m sure you’ll be fascinated with: A monarch caterpillar on "common milkweed" (Asclepias syriaca) in the USA.

    http://www.learner.org/jnorth/images/graphics/monarch/CaterpillarFeast.wmv

    It’s amazing, I know you’ll enjoy it – these leaves are much larger than our own milkweed, and it takes twenty minutes for this caterpillar to eat the whole leaf. You will notice that before he starts on the leaf he cuts a small notch in the leaf-stem where it’s attached to the plant stem, this is to reduce the amount of milkweed (toxins) in the leaf. I have never noticed them doing this on our plants but it is something I mean to watch out for.

    PS Watch out for the frass at the end. :)

    Jacqui

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  • #20162

    Anonymous
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    Jacqui
    This is fabulous – have sent it to a few children (big and small).
    Those American ‘pillars have such beautiful manners – no chewing off half leaves and dropping them everywhere like my Westies in NZ.
    Best
    Trisha

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