I held the caterpillar up for her to see. The adults held tight to our fingers before they lifted off and glided away. A final bit of information which turned up is that Mourning Cloak butterfly caterpillars are called “Spiny elm caterpilllars”.And there’s a page about various species of stinging caterpillars with very good photos and some information, at I was recently stung by one on these little guys.

Contact with spines of dead caterpillars can still cause this irritation, since it is not something that the caterpillar willfully does.

Is it safe to assume that maybe the eggs were laid in my Chinese elm tree and that they are coming from there? He was getting rid of my weeds in my fenced in area of my apartment where we park our cars. Identification was hard, maybe because they go through 5 “instars” or stages, shedding their skins each time and so perhaps different instars look a bit different. Field guides describe them as “brushlike,” hence the family name Nymphalidae is referred to as the “brush-footed butterflies.” This family includes the royal members, for instance, the Monarchs, Viceroys and Queens, to name a few.

More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Spiny elm caterpillar poisoning is available below. Thanks again for the good article — SandyOur yard in Wisconsin has rotting fruit at the foot of our pear tree and there must be two dozen mourning cloaks feeding there.

Though we had not counted their instars, many field guides suggest they go through four or five growth stages.

The fattened caterpillars hung downwards on a twig, in the shape of the letter “J.”  About a day later they had transformed into a grayish-tan, spiky chrysalis. For the next several weeks, we cleaned out the butterfly poop, and added new leaves.

Spiny elm caterpillar poisoning: Introduction. These adults would walk headfirst down the trunk to feeding spots where sap flowed from the tree. Inside of these borders was a row of iridescent blue spots. These adults may emerge during winter if the temperatures are mild. During the next gust of wind, down came a few more caterpillars.

Life Cycle. By the way, one more bit of information is that the droppings of insect larvae like caterpillars is called frass, which maybe your kids will find more exotic than calling it falling poop or caterpillar poo.Thank you so much for your reply. We liked to joke that these were “lazy” caterpillars that just hung around all day. The Mourning Cloak butterfly can live up to 12 months and he had just come out of a chrysalis on the portal ceiling. With no place else to go, the caterpillar climbed up my finger and into my hand.“Aeewww…” my daughter exclaimed. We never saw the Mourning Cloaks drinking nectar from the flowers in the garden, but they are known to occasionally imbibe on floral nectar. Several of those I touched wriggled vigorously, then resumed their quite helpless position.” If anybody has the urge to watch a butterfly emerge, here are some instructions for keeping the chrysalis: It’s really important that the container be large; if the butterfly is cramped when it emerges the wings will not unfold and develop properly. Brush-Footed Butterflies (Family Nymphalidae). A couple of years ago a lot of my plants were overrun by Painted Lady cats that are also less than good looking and I sprayed them with BT to kill them, then had to suffer the guilt once I learned what they were… But I have to say, I far prefer the Monarch and Swallowtail larvae, which have always reminded me of the hookah-smoking caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland — LOL ! Some adults migrate south in the fall. Let’s just admire butterflies when we are fortunate enough to see them, and not try to use them as if they were living confetti.Well I have 100s of larvae munching on our willow in San Dieo.

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