can anyone id this caterpillar?

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

He has two yellow stripes down his back a brown head and a spoon shaped orange rear end as well as orange feet. he was rolled up in a leaf on my lima beans.

News flash!! see below for the skipper who eclosed after 42 days!

This message was edited Nov 21, 2012 2:35 PM

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

It is probably one of the Skippers but I don't know which one..

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, I think you are correct. I looked in my butterfly book and it was closest to some of the skipper photos but none matched.

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

I googled (among other things) caterpillar with orange feet and got a photo that looked like my cat. It was labelled, long-tailed skipper and the author found it on bean leaves, folded just as I had found. I think that must be it but I never saw that skipper and I would love to see it.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Well go ahead and raise the caterpillar it is fun, and you could see the adult.

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

I had released that one back to the bean vines but took a smaller one today and constructed a "house" of sorts. I had a wire basket about 5X5 inches and I stretched panty hose over it to make a box. I placed some bean leaves in and plan to place fresh ones each day. Ive never raised a caterpillar before. I would be so guilty if it died.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

You never know it could work out just fine, but don't feel bad if it doesn't, they get eaten out there all the time.

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Jo. I really want to see that skipper!

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

We have lift Off !!! My skipper eclosed today. I thought he was dead. The bean leaves that he cocooned in stayed in the vial of water so long, they grew roots! T he cocoon appeared to have mildew all over it. I thot for sure he was dead. while I was cooking supper, he appeared. bTW, I have no idea where he is in my house just now. I was waiting for him to spread his wings out and I got busy and he flew. He is definitely a long tailed skipper with the iridescent blue-green on his back.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Congratulations Marty!!! you did a good job and such a lovely skipper, I have never raise one of them.

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks Jo. He was about an inch long when I captured him and it took 42 days. I wonder if it would have taken that long if he'd been outdoors. I only got one clear photo and the rest were out of focus. I wish I knew what I did to get that clear one.

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Jo, do you know whether someone in administration takes pictures that we post and automatically add them to Bug Files and Plant files? I would like to add my skipper if they do not.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Way to go Marty!!! Now you may be hooked. It is even more exciting to see the cats of the swallowtails and Monarchs you raise. 42 days is a long time. The sun does give them more energy I am sure, but careful of direct sun if they are caged.
Great to experience the LTSkipper on your first time. I like Jo haven't gotten to raise one of those and I am jealous. I did have a couple in my yard this year and let the bean vines grow. Need to try Limas next year!

Oh...and about the picture, you add it yourself...look for the link at the bottom of the Bugfile of that butterfly. Then admin reviews and puts it on the database. You can write a note to be attached.
Never mind....I see you have already figured it out!! LOL!

This message was edited Nov 21, 2012 10:58 PM

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

I have a lot of difficulty taking clear photos but I saw that there were none of the chrysalis or of the caterpillar so I figured fuzzy photos are better than none at all. If some better ones show up later, they can remove the fuzzy ones..

Really bad news. i found the little skipper today that flew off after eclosing and I could not find where he had gone. He was dead. i have a photo but im devastated. I wish I could have found him in time to release him outdoors. it troubles me to think he starved.

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Here is his photo. He is really beautiful.

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

He really is beautiful, but you couldn't help what happened, one of those sad things.
That picture shows the top of his body which we hardly ever see, you should add that one too.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Ditto what Josephine said... We all have made errors or had dissapointments through raising them, don't let that deter you. The area where you are is a great environment to raise many butterflies in the future. Look at the forum Hummingbirds and Butterflies, and especially the "sticky" thread at the top. It has a lot of information about raising them.

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks Jo and Sheila. I will add the photo. I have my lima bean seeds if anybody wants some. they are speckled and I call them "butter beans".

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I don't usually plant vegetables but those would be something Herman loves to eat, and good for the butterflies too. I would love to have a few of them to try out, I can send a bubble envy your way. When and how do you plant yours?

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Sheila, These need to be planted after the ground gets warm. The hotter the summer, the better they produce. I start them inside in the little 2X2 pots about 6wks before last frost date. I have a square foot garden and I devote a 4X4 foot bed to them. If you want beans to eat, get some of the microrrhizae where they sell seeds and put some in each planting hole when you transplant. Get the kind specific for beans. This guarantees production even if your soil happened not to have any but most soil contains at least some. I make a teepee out of bamboo poles or other strong poles about 7 ft or so tall and place it over the beans when they start to vine. I usually plant about 6 plants and it produces enough for me and I usually freeze some so I can space out the eating of them. The vines are heavy so make sure your poles are sturdy and the teepee is held together well with strong wire at the top. I usually put the "feet" of the teepee outside the square foot bed but it does not matter. It makes the teepee more stable in high wind if the base is wider. The beans are bee pollinated.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks Marty!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Beautiful job, Marty!

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