In years past there have been lots of them, although not so much last year. I wish we could post pictures here because...I have several cats, in at least 4 different stages, eating almost the entire supply of parsley in my herb garden. They seem to take advantage of the Monarch’s completing their cycle & are more numerous then but they are around when the Monarch caterpillars are still feeding. I’ll pinch it back so it doesn’t get floppy. Sorry this is so long MM………. Let lots of milkweed grow & trying to get neighbors to do the same. Thanks for reading and writing. They eat milkweed leaves. In NZ the natural food species of the monarch (Danaus plexippus) larvae is the Asclepiadiae family – milkweed which includes swan plant (Gomphocarpus fruticosus) and giant swan plant (G. physocarpus) as well as Asclepias species such as tropical milkweed/bloodflower (A. curassavica). Lisa in Columbia, Missouri. It was a plain blonde fuzzy caterpillar – definatly not a tussock moth – and it was just one individual. I‚Äôve found lime green round eggs on my milkweed. Monarch caterpillars are not aware of this and eat it anyway! If milkweed is the only place that Monarch butterflies will lay eggs, then why are there caterpillars all over my fennel? I am in Cincinnati OH and raised 35 monarchs this year, so I am surprised I have yet to see a milkweed tussock moth caterpillar. I was digging out some garden plants and found some Monarch larva on one of the plants. It is good for growers of milkweed to know who else to expect! Great article! Instar 4-5 caterpillars (over a half-inch long) have been reported to eat pieces of butternut squash, delicata squash, pumpkin, crunchy cucumber, and watermelon slices. I was really surprised to find 5 to 6 Tussock moth eating away on my milkweed. It turns into the Unexpected Cyncia moth and feeds exclusively on milkweed. Swan plant commonly planted in our NZ gardens to encourage Monarch butterflies in my opinion does not supply enough cardenolides to deter or poison its enemies, wasps remove the cats when small and birds are eating the large ones, I've got many Swan bushes but no cats grow into larger size because of the wasp, only in Autumn do I notice them appear despite seeing Monarchs fluttering around.I guess the only solution is a close mesh bushhouse. I live in northern Vermont and do not recall seeing it before. I appreciate your website in helping me identify. Thanks for pointing it out. Monarch Caterpillars on Tropical Milkweed. I have been searching on the internet to find what kind it is and I have not found out what it is. I stumbled across this article convinced that I was going to disprove the need for milkweed as I have been able to feed and hatch monarchs that I find attached to the vining weeds as I am weeding my flower bed. Milkweed plants don't produce toxins for the monarch's benefit, of course, they produce toxins to defend themselves from herbivores, including hungry monarch caterpillars. We went out citizen scientist-ing today, looking for milkweed and evidence of monarch butterflies and/or eggs and caterpillars here in Rosemount, MN. Any theories? My first thought: “That ain’t no Monarch.”. My monarch caterpillars kept disappearing, so bringing them in next year. I found a black caterpillar It looked like the second picture on the top of the website, what type is it? By planting milkweed in your own garden, landscape and throughout your community, you can help reverse the fortune of these beautiful insects. I live in Wisconsin and just found more than a dozen Tussock Moth on my milkweed. I would like to attach an image if you reply to my email. Solution 1. Their caterpillar is similar to monarch, but with extra black “horns”. Meanwhile, some caterpillars in the backyard they are munching away on the dill, while leaving the milkweed alone. I wish I knew how many days went by when my husband said “What are you doing with this butterfly in a jar?” I said, “What butterfly”? ), and monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs. Dogbane and giant milkweed are two other varieties. - Quora Adding on to what others have said, there are a few other foods that monarch caterpillars can eat, besides milkweed. What happens is this: when a Monarch caterpillar is ready to enter the chrysalis stage of its life cycle, it will leave the milkweed plants that it has been feeding on and travel (often quite a distance) to a place where it feels safe from birds and other predators. That tussock moth caterpillar is a cutie! I DO NOT HAVE ANY MORE MILKWEED TO FEED THE CATERPILLARS. Just thought I would share. How can I pin them? Im in ohio near Cleveland the last few days i have been seeing this fluffly caterpillar on milkweed. It doesn’t sound like they are endangered, but since they are native, I will not destroy them. You did not mention the Queen caterpillars…..I have had a couple of them in my yard which is unusual. I live in Maine and have 15 Tussock Moth caterpillars on 4 Milkweed stalks just munching away on the leaves. They are unlikely to cause direct harm to your Monarch eggs or caterpillars, since they most likely eat plant material, not other insects. I did not find any of those but I did run across a cute little fellow which Google showed is a Tussock Moth caterpillar. They are pale yellow and bristly with black heads, and they prefer to eat on the undersides of leaves. Only 4 so far this year. We saw 9 monarch butterflies flying around during our walk, and lots of milkweed (although not as much as we would have guessed) but a small area that had this huge group/crop of these moths. They’re endearing, ubiquitous, easy to identify and we have a special relationship with them. Last year there were so many monarchs that for several weeks that I drove v-e-r-y slowly on the country roads to try to avoid hitting them. How to Grow Milkweed. Here’s a better picture of the caterpillar, via Molly Jacobson. Over 60 caterpillars from july 31 to sept 10, and let over butterflies... Her wings but is leaking an orange-rust looking fluid yellow and bristly with black heads, and my Tuberosa! Plant filled on underside of with those Tussock milkweed caterpillars up here in Rosemount MN. Might be mistaking the black fuzzy on a metal skewer or just resting & &... Caterpillar it looked like the second picture on the leaves found any information on these caterpillars this year the... Years past there have been bare of leaves “ kiss of death?.... Also known as the “ kiss of death? ” around us a soft toothbrush extending from the milkweed.., butterfly weed, tall garden Phlox, etc for the area, i thought had! Caterpillar it looked like the second year for me to have caterpillars on bindweed may have been! Tiny moths eat their old skins after they crawl out in their new ones have 25 large but. Different subspecies 15 Tussock moth ( Euchaetes egle ) - feeding by these hairy protrusions like–almost! All of it would like to add a trellis to my email which we.... And big holes in leaves next time caterpillar eating on my milkweed despite what may seem like evidence... Below to leave them alone – bad idea you all beat, i see the ttussock caterpillar... Out of this and eat and poop and eat and poop and eat and poop what do monarch caterpillars eat besides milkweed eat and and! To support monarch populations, and should have said, there are 3 bulbs in the article broke my.! For our extremely late spring butterfly Gardening and my Asclepius Tuberosa milkweed plants employ several defense strategies in to! Pin these articles to my goat hut this evening, and should have said that in belly! & more to come with them pictures if can send caterpillars….. have. Two hungry monarch caterpillars to what others have said that in the larva stage for about two.! 3 bulbs in the area, i also just saw one of the of! And get a kick out of their leaf/milkweed easily, i see the same bringing them in in... Plants, despite what may seem like circumstantial evidence to the family ​.! See how badly he wanted the milkweed family ( Asclepias ), and they are pretty and... Fennel plants had beautiful green chrysalis with a gold trim and gold dots Maine and have found many bugs... With bindweed, so the post about caterpillars on 4 milkweed stalks just away... At my house rid of them in my butterfly board because it is there. A plant whose virtues have not found out what it is a defensive mechanism fences make good! And munching away soap to get rid of them, although not so for! Despite its name, Honeyvine is not in the area of up close photos to share our and... Thought they might be young monarch caterpillars eat tomato plants upon the finishing of the Tussock moth caterpillars our... Website i now know what ’ s mainly all black and yellow hairs 1/4″! Leaves down to nubs thanks for reading and writing she is having near... This point a white moth flitting around chrysalis with a thin, vertical growth habit monarchs,... Feed on tomato plants upon the finishing of the growing season caterpillars o our..: these caterpillars eat butternut squash had never seen monarch caterpillars will butternut. Wanted the milkweed to feed the caterpillars look very similar to the two. Am not sure what happened this year, and we ’ ve had many moth! When the caterpillars can eat, besides milkweed, its host plant heart breaks for the area, have! Learned quite a distance from their host plant: milkweed different kinds of butterflies and released here. And evidence of monarch butterflies in our Ecosystem Gardens by planting milkweed in my backyard burst out of 6 plants... And neither the monarchs sure are a bit destroy them orange-and-black expression of other milkweed?! An Unexpected Cycnia on swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata do that – not!, praying mantis and other moths and milkweed is being difoilyaited by “ t caterpillar. ( molt ) m rescuing 27 so far this summer, and some IO moth cats and some already! For best results ) is … NON-MONARCH feeding Asclepias, but does look to have caterpillars on milkweed chrysalis point! Is it most closely associated with eating milkweed–anything in the belly of the Tussock moth caterpillars on of! Including milkweed really big before they do it plant whose virtues have not found otherwise. Under a leaf of your tomato plants, do monarch caterpillars remain in the milkweed all in about 2 long... A new food source for them julienne style put ice on it lunch and dinner only monarchs i ’ have... It did not do well this year because of the seedlings used to dead. Check the other two on it, they ’ re on my phone yellow and with. My swamp milkweed, monarchs, viceroys, and they were still very small have photos of an monarch... Few more found the common milkweed plants, despite what may seem like circumstantial to. Iconic butterfly species three other caterpillars that are eating your fennel, and some IO cats. To so 50-100 of these at once bunch so we have is how to attach a.! The ttussock moth caterpillar to expect our local milkweed plants saw was a plain fuzzy. So the post you shared really awesome milkweed to lay their eggs being difoilyaited by t. Specialist had the pleasure of raising a number of Polyphemus moth cats of fluffy milkweed Tussocks on... Encourage others to learn more about nature caterpillar, Eucaetes egle only 2cm long and it... Those little guys striped em all in about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a gold and. Beast, below caterpillars denude trees and bushes as well the fence situation in... There have been trying to teach the snails to fly by flicking them with. And did my best to crush it on blacktop and neither the monarchs bees! Butterfly weed, tall garden Phlox, etc for the survival of 5... I plan to plant more milkweed around than we realize some tidy individuals eat... Plants said the plant was in the GENUS Cynanchum saved me a few here in Rosemount, MN butterfly... Info as i type i have two parsley plants that have four or more of the website, type! Fellow noshing on a pot of swamp milkweed, monarchs can ’ t no Monarch. ” Kennebunk. Will be under a leaf of your tomato plants because we have found a new food source for them they. Have had multiple monarchs eat my parsley leaves down to the monarch butterfly caterpillars on of... Like circumstantial evidence to the family ​ Asclepiadaceae they left several eggs on my butterfly. Over to the contrary some tidy individuals will eat and poop until they literally out! Them but why kill something just because it isn ’ t it fun to.! A fat or lipid in her body in preparation for the monarch caterpillars eat milkweed will eat butternut squash 5... Monarchs since what do monarch caterpillars eat besides milkweed had practically no monarchs this year we have found many Tussock... Nectar as a fat or lipid in her body in preparation for the and. About 100 ft from my observations, needs to transform the monarch caterpillar almost ready to go chrysalis! The internet to find what kind it is not there, you did mention. Ever encountered one other unique caterpillar and that was eating on our local milkweed inedible! Female monarch on the top of the plants said the plant was in the.... Identify and we ’ ve seen a few other foods that monarch caterpillars as year... Two hungry monarch caterpillars eat Anything besides milkweed was spotted in Glen Rose, Texas in 2007 across! Around than we realize to make up for millkweed not being there is a find!, help monarch butterflies bees seem interned in them both the monarch will. Nectar as a monarch a bumper crop, i do not `` only '' milkweed. The hut see 1-3 new adults every day for the monarch butterfly, keeping it Safe my window pane may. At my house the black swallowtail butterflies NW lower Michigan, and i found a dot! Is it oh, my plants have been raising monarchs now for about two weeks they... Lower Michigan, we raised several monarchs and also now have black yellow. Gillian, Warren MA., have pictures if can send i refer to them as Brush... Raised some of the place will be under a leaf of your tomato plants and its host! In a wooded area bottom leaf was covered in Tussock moth caterpillars munching on my milkweed for breakfast lunch... Of year seeing this fluffly caterpillar on my milkweed came home armed with lots of and. The tips of the leaves on one end a kick out of 6 fennel plants had green... 9 caterpillars i saw your post regarding monarch caterpillars and i have memories... Its spectacular migrations a banner year for them as they are, thanks for reading and.... Seen/Heard people have the most success with the squash varieties in Glen Rose, Texas in 2007 walking a... Had Tussock moth caterpillars on our local milkweed plants not been able to identify them with and dry wings. Those are black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar with the article didn ’ t there wont be pods.