A Zebra Longwing caterpillar prepares to shed its skin and form a chrysalis on its way to metamorphosing into a butterfly in the Audubon House pollinator garden at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.
Newly emerged from the chrysalis hanging next to it, a fat red-and-yellow caterpillar has undergone metamorphosis to turn into this Atala butterfly colorful in its own right. The bright red on the wings and the orange abdomen are warnings to would-be predators that they may find the Atala a bit unpalatable due to the toxins it has incorporated into its body from its larval host plant, the prehistoric Coontie.
The larva of the Great Leopard Moth is called the Giant Woolly Bear for its large, hairy appearance. The caterpillar is primarily nocturnal and feeds on a wide variety of plants but is often seen crossing roads during the day on its way to new foraging grounds.
With very distinctive stripes, a Monarch butterfly larva gorges on milkweed in the final days before forming a chrysalis to begin the metamorphosis into a butterfly. Seen in the butterfly garden at Audubon House at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.