Caterpillar ID - Knowledgebase Question

Equinunk, PA
Question by thefarm82
August 29, 1999
Hairy black and orange caterpillars have been eating milkweed plants that I keep for the monarch butterfly caterpillars. There are so many of these hairy black and orange caterpillars that they have eaten the milkweed to the ground. I do not know whether this is a "good" caterpillar or a pest. Your help would be appreciated. The caterpillar appears to have feelers on both ends and the orange stripe is down the middle of its back. The two ends are black.


Image
Answer from NGA
August 29, 1999

0

Milkweed plants contain a poison that caterpillars use as a defense. The juice they ingest makes them less desireable to predatory birds and insects. Milkweed feeding butterfly larvae tend to have fleshy filaments at each end, so yours may be cousins to the Monarch or Queen (family Danaus). I'd consider these to be 'good guys' and wouldn't try to control their populations.

You must be signed in before you can post questions or answers. Click here to join!

« Return to the Garden Knowledgebase Homepage

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Daisy with bug"