Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Smartweed caterpillar, Acronicta oblinita....Joan's volunteers showed me these caterpillars below the bridge in the Fern Valley Wet Meadow

For break today, I stopped to see how planting was progressing with the FV Sunny Cultivar Area; things were moving along nicely. Kathryn had participated in the past Sunday's butterfly survey where they had noted the presence of these lovely caterpillars.

They indeed were on Smartweed, Polygonum pennsylvanicum. Wow, a native Polygonum with cool caterpillars to boot. The first time I saw this caterpillar was in Alabama last year and since then I've seen them anumber of timest, but never more than 1 or 2 at a time; there are probably dozens here! Kathryn showed me at least one dozen today, and I expect they'll be there for a few days. From the road, walk down into the Fern Valley Meadow. Turn left at the bridge and look below the railings at the vegetation below. They're easy to spot!

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