Milkweed may be the most popular and well-known host plant (for Monarchs, of course) in our gardens, but many hundreds of different plants are "host" to the other 12,000 species of Lepidoptera. While I haven't seen any Monarch or Swallowtail caterpillars this year*, we do have a few other species hanging out in our yard, and they happen to be quite beautiful too!
|Brown Hooded Owlet Moth, on Woodland Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)|
|White Marked Tussock Moth, on Pin Oak|
|Camouflaged Looper, on Salvia "May Night" (aka Wavy Lined Emerald Moth)|
|Camouflaged Looper, dead center in the picture, about 1:00 in relation to the honey bee. In case you're unfamiliar with these guys, they affix pieces of whatever plant they are on to their bodies so they blend in. Totally the coolest!|
*Well, we have seen a couple, but they didn't last long. Despite both Jeff and I watching a Monarch lay eggs, only one hatched that I could find, and that one disappeared after a couple of days. We also had one Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar, but it too disappeared before maturing fully. :-(