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Caterpillars in October?

It is common to find caterpillars in Arizona this time of year, but during a recent trip to Pennsylvania and New York State I was surprised to find both moth and butterfly caterpillars active in late October.

My sister still had lovely kale plants in her garden, as well as a caterpillar or two.

These are the larvae of the cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae.

The butterflies were also flitting about. My sister didn't need to worry about this one, though. It is a male. I can tell because it has a single dot of black in the middle of each forewing. The females have two dots.

 

It isn't quite so unusual to see goldenrod in bloom.

If you know where to look, you can also see a caterpillar.

If if it finishes developing in time, this caterpillar will likely become a moth.

Want to learn more? Try some of our Moth Blog Posts at Growing With Science:

 

Perhaps I should have named it caterpillar week!

Related posts for Moth Week:

 

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