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Notice anything different about me? Until a few minutes ago, the by-line at the header of this blog read: Adventures in Neo-Victorian, Wil...

2012-09-09

Atteva aurea, Ailanthus Webworm Moth

Atteva aurea, Ailanthus Webworm Moth, on Pycnanthemum, Mountain-Mint, in my garden last weekend. The intense colors are believed to be aposematic, a warning coloration to deter predators, probably because they would be distasteful.
Atteva aurea, Ailanthus Webworm Moth, on Pycnanthemum, Mountain-Mint

The larvae - caterpillars - feed in communal aggregations, like tent caterpillars. Around the globe, caterpillars in the genus Atteva are known to feed on plants from at least a half-dozen plant families. But they favor plants in the Simaroubaceae, the Quassia Family.

2012-09-06

Papilio polyxenes, Eastern Black Swallowtail

Update 2012-09-10: Only one caterpillar remains.

The morning of the day we left on our last road trip - which led us to the Adirondack Hudson, among other places - I saw this in one of our vegetable beds:
Papilio polyxenes, Eastern Black Swallowtail

This is a female Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio polyxenes. I caught her at the moment she discovered our group of parsley plants (Petroselinum hortense, or P. crispum). She was laying eggs, carefully placing just one under separate leaves of two of the plants.