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Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
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coconut
Jan 8, 2013 11:46 AM CST
I have a deck full of Desert Roses, Adeniums. This guy cruises around and lightly touches the leaves. Daytime, a brilliant dark midnight blue body with a few bright blue spots, red wings. I feel it's a butterfly, but it might be a daytime moth.

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I have these monsters eating my Adeniums, they hatch onto the leaves, and quickly go to the flowers and buds, erghhhhh. They are, I believe, cats from an orange/rust colored butterfly, an Oleander butterfly.
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One of my Adeniums that I do not want to find eaten!
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jan 12, 2013 8:47 AM CST
Do you have Oleanders in your garden? That looks like the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar and the moth:

http://www.google.com/search?q=spotted+oleander+caterpillar+...

edited to add: Oops, I should have actually read your post, I think you've already identified those critters! :)
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
[Last edited by plantladylin - Jan 12, 2013 8:48 AM (+)]
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Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
Image
coconut
Jan 14, 2013 8:53 AM CST
WAR!!!!!

They are doing SO much harm! Thank you!! I had no idea that moth had such caterpillars. I had a passionfruit vine that was killed by similar cats, but they came from an orange butterfly.

Thank you!

I'll use my mosquito zapper to bat them to the ground and step on them, so sad, because they are gorgeous moths. The closest oleander I know of is at least two miles away. The cats start under a leaf, then quickly go for the buds.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jan 14, 2013 9:39 AM CST
At certain times of the year I see quite a few of the spotted oleander moths and different varieties of caterpillars too. I just let them be. They eat the leaves but don't kill the plants, since it's only the leaves they consume. The bark/stem doesn't die, new leaves will emerge as well as new flowers.

The caterpillar's on your Passion Vine were Butterfly Caterpillar's! Various Passiflora are larval host plants for the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly larvae.The Butterfly lays her eggs on the leaves, the eggs hatch into caterpillar's which eat the foliage before spinning a chrysalis and pupating into the adult butterflies. Here's are a couple of links with photo's of the different stages of the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly:

http://elizabethssecretgarden.blogspot.com/2009/08/gulf-frit...

http://www.sasionline.org/default.asp?go=fritillary/fritilla...
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
Image
coconut
Jan 15, 2013 2:04 PM CST
Boy, they are trying to wreck my Adeniums! They are eating all the flowers and buds. Argh!

Thanks for the links! A great blog. I had a blog that I spent so much time on! Then I wandered away from it.

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jan 15, 2013 2:17 PM CST
Melissa:

I just found this ... scroll down to Affected Plants. If Oleanders are absent apparently they enjoy Adenium obesum too!

http://www.ehow.co.uk/info_8274546_oleander-caterpillars-pla...
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11+
Charter ATP Member
Image
coconut
Jan 16, 2013 1:24 PM CST
Ha, they certaily DO enjoy Adeniums! There could easily be oleanders closer than the hedge that I know of, you cannot see into everyone's back yard! I guess it's spray with Thurgicide every morning, sigh. There are often little rain showers before dawn lately to wash it off.

Thank you for your time and attention!

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