These orange and black caterpillars on your passion vine are Gulf
If you watch the butterflies for a while, you might see one lay an
egg on a leaf here and there like the one below. You can see the
egg at the end of her abdomen. There is a
growing in the grass, and she's laid her egg on the tip of a dead grass
stem beside the vine. I've seen Gulfs lay eggs in a lot of odd places
near, but not always on, the vine.
The eggs are just a tiny single yellow-orange elongated oval dot. The
Zebra Heliconians use the same vine,
and their eggs look similar, but they lay a bunch of eggs at once on a
tender tip of new growth on the vine.
just shed its skin; it's that dark blob right above it.
Once they've had enough to eat, they'll hang upside-down to make their
chrysalis. The one on the left is doing so, but if you look
carefully you'll see two tiny flies on it. They aren't flies. See my
age and death page
for the rest of that grim
If you raise a caterpillar
, be sure to clean out the container and give
it fresh leaves from its host plant a few times a day.
It's worthwhile to raise one once, because when it first emerges from
its chrysalis, it needs to hang upside-down and dry its' wings for an
hour or two, and it will happily cling to your fingertip while it does.
Be sure to let it hang upside-down until its wings are fully extended
and stiff, or it won't be able to fly properly.
....and then they eat. This one is sipping nectar from a
....and then you scroll back to the top where they lay eggs.
(Loop, endless, see 'endless loop'. Endless loop, see 'loop,
endless'. I love that line!)
For more on these beautiful Gulf Fritillary Butterflies, see
Gulf Fritillary Butterflies Page Two. This page got too long, so I
had to put the other photos there. You also might want to visit my
Gulf Fritillary Butterflies "Birds and the Bees" Page.