A Skipper, a Ladybug and a Monarch Caterpillar on my Honeyvine Milkweed

Look what I found on my Honeyvine Milkweed yesterday afternoon. A skipper, a ladybug and a Monarch butterfly caterpillar!

Silver-Spotted Skipper

This is a Silver-spotted Skipper  He was pretty flittery, and then when I read about him I found out that is a trait of skippers, which are different from butterflies, which are different from moths.

Silver-Spotted Skipper

Wonder why his eyes are so big and black.

Silver-Spotted Skipper

Then I saw this little ladybug. Except he was bigger than most little ladybugs.

Ladybug on Honeyvine Milkweed 01

I haven’t seen very many ladybugs this year.

Ladybug on Honeyvine Milkweed 02

This one was quite speedy so most of my pix were out of focus.

Ladybug on Honeyvine Milkweed 03

He has a little moustache on his back. See the little face.

Ladybug on Honeyvine Milkweed 04

And then my favorite find.

Silver-Spotted Skipper

Monarch butterfly caterpillar! I’m so excited!

I’ve been fascinated by Monarchs since I read this article in National Geographic when scientists found their winter home in Mexico. We see them in late summer here in Oklahoma and I’m so happy to have one continue the migration from my backyard.

Monarch Caterpillar on CottonmouthCreek 02

I found out a butterfly would have laid an egg on one of these leaves recently and now it’s a caterpillar. I saw one Monarch bouncing about the front yard a couple of weeks ago so that might have been mom.

Monarch Caterpillar on CottonmouthCreek 06

He should turn into a chrysalis before too long and at that point I think I’ll put him in a jar. When the butterfly emerges it doesn’t take long for them to flex their wings and then fly away so I would likely miss it if I leave him outside. I may miss it anyway, but I’m hoping for some pictures before he leaves.

After reading up on the life cycle I’m hoping there are more eggs under other leaves on the vine. At first they’re too tiny to notice, but now I’m on Monarch watch.

Anyone else out there creating a Monarch habitat to help these guys out? Since Milkweed is the only thing they eat, I’ll have a lot of Honeyvine Milkweed seeds over the next few weeks.

Jan

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About Jan

I write. I cook. I take pictures. I sew. I design. I create.
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2 Responses to A Skipper, a Ladybug and a Monarch Caterpillar on my Honeyvine Milkweed

  1. Tami says:

    I have never heard of skippers before!! I would have thought it was a moth! Thank you for the entomology lesson!! It took me a few seconds to see the mustachioed face on the lady bug! Thank you for pointing it out – it made me smile!! The monarch caterpillar looks like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland!! 😀

    • Jan says:

      Tami, I’d heard of skippers, but I thought it was a description, I didn’t know it was a separate thing. I also thought it was a moth because it’s sort of fuzzy. It did skip around a lot so the name is appropriate. Yesterday I noticed another butterfly with the same erratic flight and wondered if it was also a skipper.
      My Monarch is still there, munching away. I worried last night because it got down in the 50s and I don’t know what their temperature range is. He was not too energetic when I went out this morning, but he’s warmed up now.
      I’ll keep you posted.
      Jan

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