A Bug’s Life

Herbdoc has seen some interesting insects around her garden this summer:

It certainly has been a banner year for insects here in Rhode Island!

Here are three I recently found in my yard.

Black Swallowtail caterpillar

Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes) – found happily munching the parsley in my gigantic herb basket on the back deck.

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (Hemaris thysbe) – spotted enjoying the nectar of the Verbena bonariensis. (This plant has attracted a lot of wildlife this summer including hummingbirds who sip the nectar and goldfinches who love the seeds!  I will definitely plant more of these verbenas next year.)

Bella Moth Caterpillar

Bella Moth caterpillar (Utetheisa bella) – I had to do a lot of research to identify this one.  Three of them were snacking on my licorice plant (Helichrysum petiolatum) on the front deck.  I plan to keep watching them to be sure they are Bellas.  Let us know if you think they may be something else!

Editor’s note: Herbdoc wrote about a week later to say that the caterpillar had emerged from its cocoon, and it was indeed a Bella Moth.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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