Our maypop (passion flower) vine is loaded with fruit. When the boys and I went to check on it, we noticed the leaves were all chewed up, and we took a closer look.
|Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar|
The vine is covered with caterpillars, who seem very hungry indeed.
Taking a closer look, we noticed their spiky bristles and stripes.
Looking even closer, we saw their glossy skin, and we felt how sticky their legs are.
And looking closest of all, we found their eyes (they look like they're wearing shades), and we saw tiny little hairs on their bristles.
Nearby, we found one that had formed a chrysalis.
We looked in our field guide to try to identify the caterpillars, and we thought they were either Gulf Fritillary or Variegated Fritillary. The kind folks at Shady Oak Butterfly Farm helped us identify them as Gulf Fritillary caterpillars.
A change in perspective can reveal all kinds of details.