Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pansy Caterpillar

It turns out that the Pansy has an enemy. Mine were starting to look a bit pale. On closer inspection, their leaves and flowers had small holes in them. On even closer inspection, spiky brown caterpillars were gnawing at said holes. And so, I googled these pests. Turns out they're called "Pansy Caterpillars". Funny, that's what I would have named them.

Behold:

Guess who bought pesticide today...

4 comments:

Brenda said...

Hope the stuff you bought worked -- just to let you know of a few "green" pesticides -- safer's solutions work well, also products with rotenone such as deritox (biological agents, not poisons). I do what I need to, but try to be careful not to kill things like bees and spiders and lady bugs who do such good work for us in the garden! Great to see you enjoying your gardening! Love MOM

wendy said...

And I thought you were going to say the caterpillar came from my home town! He sure is a cutie! Do you have a picture of the pansies, too?

R K Young said...

The caterpillar is a variegated fritillary butterfly caterpillar. You can see images here: http://www.butterflyfunfacts.com/variegatedfritillary.php

They use violets and pansies as host plants.

Anonymous said...

These caterpillars should not be poisoned. The butterfly is by no means a pest, and its beauty is well worth the price of a few partly eaten pansies. They're cheap enough to replace if necessary, though mine grow fine along with the butterfly larvae. In fact, deliberately providing plants that butterflies need as host plants is worthwhile and environmentally desirable. Try milkweed, for Monarchs, or parsley and fennel for Swallowtails. Spending a little money to help these pollinators instead of to kill them will enhance your garden.