For the past decade, my insect nemesis has been the voracious Japanese beetle, but this summer, we’ve been battling an aphid invasion. These tiny sap-suckers are particularly fond of milkweed, the sole food source for monarch caterpillars. They appear uninterested in ironweed, (Vernonia fasciculata) and other native plants that are beneficial for pollinators. More: Differences […]
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Swallowtail update: so then this happene...
Just one day after posting about my backyard buddy, the black swallowtail caterpillar stopped moving. Hours later, it formed a silken “harness” and began its metamorphosis on the way to becoming a butterfly by forming a chrysalis. Related: How to tell apart swallowtail and monarch caterpillars I understood that swallowtails like to wander far from […]
Battle of the cats: differences between ...
After successfully growing just one milkweed plant in my backyard last year, I was excited to have dozens dotting the yard this summer. But sadly, the plants remain pristine, with no sign of the munching monarch caterpillars that use milkweed as its sole food source, and the reason I wanted the plants to thrive. See […]