An Atala butterfly begins to emerge from its chrysalis attached to a leaf of the Coontie plant. The Coontie plant is all things to the Atala. A place to lay its eggs, a grocery store for the caterpillars to consume its leaves, a quiet place to form a chrysalis to carry out metamorphosis. Then a place to return to later in life to lay eggs to start the process all over again.
The Zebra Longwing caterpillar from a previous post has formed it chrysalis. A marvel of evolutionary camouflage giving the appearance of a dead leaf making for a safe place to undergo metamorphosis while fooling potential predators with its uninvolving appearance.
The good luck tale of an urban Gulf Fritillary caterpillar. A couple of Gulf Fritillary caterpillars and a Cuban Treefrog in a mix of plants that include the Fritillary’s host plant, the passionflower vine, next to a well-travelled walkway at Audubon House. A close-up of one of the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars showing the defensive spines protruding from along its body. One of the caterpillars made its way to the railing along the paved walkway where it attached itself and made […]