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Archive for August 19th, 2017

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars By The Handful

Monarch butterfly eggs occur in onesie-twosies on each milkweed plant, but Tussock Moths carpet-bomb the leaves with eggs that hatch pretty much all at once:

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars - detail

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars – detail

With a population density like that, the plant doesn’t stand a chance:

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars

A few hours later, they were gone and so were the leaves! Presumably, they’re traveling across the ground to the adjacent milkweed plants; one or two may find our patio.

Despite all the egg-laying we saw, we haven’t seen any Monarch caterpillars out there.

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