Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My threatened species....REALLY?



Finding a caterpillar is always an exciting thing. Unless of course you find it gnawing through the leaf of the LEAFLESS BEAKED ORCHID (Sacoila lanceolata--Threatened-State (FL)) you saved while on the plant rescue mission with the Pine Lily Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society.


Behold, the Yellow-striped Armyworm (Spodoptera ornithogalli), who apparently has discerning taste. Armyworms turn into moths and I really don't mind the unheralded of our insect population, but I do take umbrage with them eating a species that is having a hard enough time fending for itself due to habitat loss. The Orchid is still in a pot waiting to be placed in the ground. Now that moisture is, pretty much, guaranteed every day, that will be soon since it will give it a good start. Seems it has gotten over the shock of the dig-up and has put out some pretty magnificent green leaves. I feel it is ready to find it's new permanent home. Back to those green leaves. The dang caterpillar chewed completely through at the base of one of the leaves. Needless to say, he has a new home in a display container with that leaf. Might as well watch his full transformation, while ensuring that he doesn't finish off my threatened plant before it gets a chance to move in.

4 comments:

Cindy said...

But wont he need more of those delicious leaves? Or is he a generalist army worm..?

Loret said...

He better be a generalist or he'll be a very hungry armyworm. Today will tell, since he was running low on gourmet leaves and will be given some nice, bidens alba leaves and maybe a few sida (mallow family)

Loret said...

A side of sida HA!

UrsulaV said...

Noooo! Save the beaky orchid!

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