I saw a sleek and stylish caterpillar in the garden the other day munch on, of all things, a pepper plant! It was time to see what I was in for. Would it eat every plant for the next two weeks? Was it likely to have an entire herd of chic caterpillar friends? I was determined to find out.
Thankfully, the outfit was easily described and as easily lead to proper identification – a yellow-striped armyworm.
See him there at the base of the pepper plant? This little pepper was a late volunteer, and likely wouldn’t have gotten to set fruit this year anyway. Seeing as this caterpillar is new to me, and all by his lonesome, I left him to enjoy his spicy salad in peace. The stripes are a little more yellow in person. The fading light washed out the hue.
This next fellow has a style all his own. He thought to match his brown overcoat with black and white striped socks! I was unlucky in my scouring of the internet for his name. Any one out there have a guess? In the photo below, he’s crawling about on a Painted Daisy. Just this morning I saw another one (perhaps the same one? although I doubt it) crawling along the top of a blade of Johnson Grass.
Apologies for the photo quality, I didn’t have the camera properly set for such a zoom! This bug’s about pea-sized, maybe slightly larger.
And for anyone who was wondering how the Great Ant Trap Experiment of June 2012 was going?
Aside from being impressed that it was hot enough to caramelize the sugar, I think I may have assembled it incorrectly. In the soap water in the bottom one could find two dead gnats, one dead hover fly, and some random debris. Nary an ant to be found. I’ll be in my wellies in the garden until further notice, and seeing as they’re not intended for garden use, what with their blue/grey plaid/argyle pattern on a cream background…when combined with gardening shorts, wide-brimmed white straw hats, and leather gloves, I sometimes end up looking quite the character myself! (Perhaps I should ask the round fellow above where he buys his socks.)