Blood Red Atala

A blood red Atala butterfly caterpillar consumes the Coontie host plant that it needs to eat to survive at this young age. The caterpillar takes up the Coontie’s natural toxins and the brilliant red and yellow coloration is a warning that eating the youngster could be dangerous to would-be predators. The adult Atala butterfly’s coloration is also a warning that it might be toxic to predators. As seen in the Audubon House landscaping at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.

UPDATE: View the Atala butterfly newly emerged from its chrysalis.

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