Thursday, August 7, 2014

Corralitas Drive: Look Closely Among The Vines

Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 31, 2014. While editing photos of Gulf Fritillary Butterflies, I thought I'd include a lovely photo of the Passion Fruit, which was starting to ripen, when a tiny visitor caught my eye. Look among the curly-cue tendril vines for a spiky caterpillar. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 31, 2014.  I didn't even see the half-inch long caterpillar until I'd blown the first photo up to actual  pixels - a few days later.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 2, 2014.  So I grabbed my reading glasses & went in search of Gulf Fritillary caterpillars.  I found one that was about 2" long, very skinny & not moving much. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, August 2, 2014. Enlarged from the previous photo, the caterpillar has an impressive looking set of spikes to ward off predators.  The yellow stripes also likely advertise to predators that they don't taste so good either.   

In 2004 & 2010, my neighbor, Shawnda Faveau documented their metamorphosis.