Saturday, November 6, 2010

painted tiger moth
Arachnis picta

I'm setting the caterpillars free in one of my compost containers, because there's a nice supply of various young shoots. The 2nd instar caterpillars are now over 5mm in length and about ready to molt again. I turned the vinca over for the last pic to show how they seem to like a bit of overhead protection during the day. Here are my blog posts to when the mother laid eggs (10/17/10) and when they hatched (10/26/10).

ps 11/08/10 - They ate my 2 tomato shoots to the nub in one day. Good golly, they are little pigs!

pss 02/23/11 - Those small, heart-shaped leaves are hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), a non-native wildflower in the Brassicaceae family. Thanks to a friend who pointed them out in her garden I now know what they are. Both of ours have grown enough to set seed with tiny, thin seed pods that pop when touched. Not wanting them to spread to my container plants, I pulled them all out. I hope the caterpillars, if any are left in this compost container, are okay.