Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Buckeye Caterpillar

I found the caterpillar above on a plant stem in Cape May Point State Park. Given the number of Common Buckeyes at the location, I was not surprised to learn that it is a Common Buckeye caterpillar. You can see more images of caterpillars for that species here.

According to Caterpillars of Eastern North America, buckeye caterpillars feed on:
Plants in snapdragon (Scrophulariaceae) and acanthus (Acanthaceae) families, including plantain, gerardia, Ruellia, snapdragon and toadflax.
Distinguishing traits include the metallic blue dorsal spines, the orange bases for the spines along the sides, and the orange head with white bumps.

Assuming that the caterpillar survives and emerges from its chrysalis, it will look like this.