07-18-2012, 12:03 PM
Location: San Diego
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Re: New plant - new bugs - of course!
Originally Posted by bananimal
Just looked them up. They are Gulf Fritillary catterpillars and they specifically target 3 passiflora species --- and mine, the incarnata, is one of them. Gonna rethink this passi business. I am not a bug farmer!!!
Now that I know what the chrysalis looks like I can start picking them off before they morph and start munching. And they are supposed to be toxic. That's why the birds leave them alone. G A B!
From the wiki -----------------------
Emergence of the Gulf Fritillary
The larva or caterpillar of the Gulf Fritillary grows to approximately 4 cm (1.6 in) in length and is bright orange in color and covered in rows of black spines on its head and back. The spines are soft to the touch and do not sting. However, the larvae are poisonous if eaten, as the bright coloration advertises. The larvae feed exclusively on species of passion flower such as Maypop (Passiflora incarnata), Yellow Passionflower (P. lutea) and Running Pop (P. foetida).
Their toxic flesh provides Gulf Fritillary caterpillars with excellent protection from predators. Many birds avoid them. Some specialized insects are observed feeding on them, however, and larger caterpillars sometimes eat smaller ones. This species belongs to the "orange" Batesian mimicry complex.
The chrysalis is approximately 3 cm (1.2 in) long; it is mottled brown and looks like a dry leaf.
Cultivation of passion flowers in gardens has enabled the Gulf Fritillary to extend its range, for example into new areas of southern and northern California.
They start munching from eggs .The chrysalis morph to adults.BT will work to control the caterpillar