Friday, July 17, 2009

A Metamorphosis

Monarch Caterpillar
It seems to be the time of summer for monarch caterpillars. In just a short span yesterday, we found 4 plump ones like this on both butterflyweed and common milkweed. These are some of the best-known caterpillars, famous for the terrible taste they get from eating the sticky white sap of their host plants. After their final instar, they will create a jewel-like chrysalis, a shimmery green with gold and black dots. I would love love love to find one of those one day. I have seen them, even seen them in the wild (as opposed to a butterfly house)... but I've never found one. I looked on all the chewed milkweed plants I saw that didn't have a caterpillar on them, but to no avail...
Flowering spurge (I think).
Yucca flowers beginning to open yesterday at Illinois Beach.
Female 12-spotted skimmer. The male of this species was a previous dragonfly of the day; the female has brighter yellow on her abdomen.
Ruby meadowhawk, male. (Also previously shown, but, oh well.)


  1. Female Twelve-Spotted Skimmers don't have the white spots or they are much less visible.

  2. The monarch caterpillar is lovely. All we get are boring green ones.

  3. You have posted very nice picture of Monarch Caterpillar. Your blog is awesome. beth