last year the hatching of the monarch butterflies rapt my attention. this year it’s the gulf fritillaries, Agraulis vanillae.
every day i spot more caterpillars and more chrysali, mostly of this same species so far. i was amazed to learn that the chrysali are phototropic – they move toward or away from the sun depending on their needs – just like plants, who knew?!
i’ve also seen some black swallowtail caterpillars, Papilio polyxenes asterius, but haven’t spied their chrysali yet… so far i’ve only seen one monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, but i’m sure more are soon on the way. to help track the caterpillars, butterflies and moths you see here in central tx, visit tamu entomology’s online field guide here, and click on lepidoptera.