08.06.2020 Who’s been eating my buttonbush?

Promethea Silkmoths is who.

After shooting the Swamp Spreadwing at Gauco Pond I went to Branch Bridge Road hoping for dragons or damsels.  But all I got was this chance to photograph Promethea Silkworm moth larvae-Callosamia promethea. This first was a little soft but I was able to reposition and get a more parallel composition of a second imdividual.

And finally a little Buttonbush chomping closeup.

All with the 5D Mark IV, 180 Macro + 2.0 doubler upon a tripod. Most of the images I saw on BugGuide showed cats with orange or red festooning at the rear so I am guessing these are late but not last instars.

Oh. The Common Buttonbush-Cephalanthus occidentalis are maturing and the flowerheads are becoming an attractive burned color.



About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Insects, Lepidoptera, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to 08.06.2020 Who’s been eating my buttonbush?

  1. Of all the buttonbushes I’ve seen, I don’t remember one that had obviously gotten chomped, much less one in the midst of getting chomped.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was a double first for me. First sighting of this caterpillar species and first time seeing something actively eating buttonbush leaves. I shared an image of buttonbush galls (third image down), also home to mite larvae, but they don’t eat the leaves…I don’t think.


  2. GAIL PLATZ says:

    Great find and a great photo! Thank for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful larva and photos of it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Ooh, what a find! I planted 3 little buttonbush transplants this spring, maybe I can hope for such a visitor one day?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. picpholio says:

    The second one is a great shot indeed 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Peter Klopp says:

    What a beautiful geometric design Mother nature created for you to photograph in your last picture! For the scientist among us, it looks like an atomic model of a molecule.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ann Mackay says:

    Fabulous photographs! Your photography is a great advert for Canon… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very nice series of images Steve! I enjoyed seeing them! I like the detail you get in your images!👍

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tina says:

    Terrific close-ups of this pretty muncher. It’s a mixed blessing, isn’t it: plant a thing you want, then a valuable insect comes along–as it’s supposed to–and eats away, causing some “good trouble”!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Good Trouble”. ❤

      I am never a complainer when I find a caterpillar eating one of our plants. Even our veggies. It's a good thing too because we got almost no tomatoes this year and the same for our blueberries. I don't think caterpillars were responsible but wild creatures have to eat and we can always go to a farm market. Thanks, Tina!


  10. shoreacres says:

    Yes, the caterpillar is beautiful, but… buttonbush is a favorite. I’ve seen plenty in full bloom, and some when the red fruit turns glossy, but this is an intermediate stage I’ve never seen. It’s lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t seen it like this before either, Linda. But that’s just timing on my part. It’s enjoyable seeing it in the various stages including those little finger puppets Steve captured. There were still some fresh ones nearby. I hope to make a few images of the fruit when the time is ripe.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. bluebrightly says:

    He/she can have all they need. Terrific!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bluebrightly says:

    (Not that I don’t like Buttonbush – I’ve rarely seen it but I remember seeing it on Staten Island and being fascinated!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is plenty of buttonbush. I mentioned elsewhere that native species seem to have it written in their genes to preserve their food for the future so they don’t obliterate a plant when feeding. It’s a unique and cool plant.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A very handsome caterpillar, Steve. I hope it’s not eating too much of the no less attractive buttonbush.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Todd Henson says:

    I love these, especially that second one. I don’t often see these interesting caterpillars. Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

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