We found this egg on our Wisteria vine and decided to raise it to see what it would turn into.  It turned
out to be some kind of
looper moth.  This is a fun way to play scientist at home.  It's like being a nature
detective.  If anyone can help us positively identify this species, feel free to contact us and we will give
you credit on this page for your help.
Life Cycles
< Here is the life cycle
of a
ladybug.   The
eggs are found in a
small group stuck to the
underside of a leaf.  
The larva hatch from
the eggs and eat other
small insects.  They
especially love to eat
aphids (so does the
adult ladybug), so they
are considered to be
beneficial insects.
This is a duskywing
egg found on
our false indigo plant.  
The egg is white and
turns orange as it
matures.  The
caterpillar secretes
silk strands to sew a
leaf together to hide
inside as it eats.
Here is the life cycle of the hackberry emperor butterfly.  The caterpillars eat the leaves of
hackberry trees.  The eggs are found in large clusters on the underside of a leaf.  In a few
days they hatch into tiny green caterpillars with white stripes.  The larger caterpillars have
horns on their head and a forked tail.  Notice in the second chrysalis picture above that you
can see the butterfly wings showing through just moments before the adult emerges.
new butterfly -  wings are wet
close-up of the sticky feet
older pupa
Monarch egg
Monarchs on bloodflower milkweed
Monarch butterfly on fall gourds
Close-up of the face of a Luna
moth caterpillar.  It uses the three
pairs of rigid front legs with claws
to hold onto its food as it eats.
Close-up of the fleshy feet (prolegs) of a Luna moth
caterpillar, used for crawling.  The bottom of the feet are
covered with tiny hooklets (think of Velcro) called
crochets, used to cling to things.
This is a Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia)
caterpillar.  See the pale blue oval shapes along
the center of its body?  These are pores called
spiracles. Caterpillars breathe through these
kinds of openings. They don't have a nose or
lungs like we do.
These wild-looking caterpillars are Milkweed
Tussock Moths
(Euchaetes egle).  They look
like they are made of fuzzy tufts of orange,
white and black yarn.  They eat the leaves of
our milkweed plants.  The young caterpillars
eat together in a group.  The adult moth is
small and shiny silver-colored with a bright
orange body marked with black dots.
Their cocoons are black  
and prickly, covered with
the sharp hairs from the
caterpillar's body.

This is the Silver-spotted
skipper (Epargyreus
clarus) life cycle.  Notice
how the egg develops a
red ring around it as it
matures.  The caterpillar
has a very large head in
comparison to other
butterfly caterpillars.  
These were eating our
wisteria vine, but they
also host on other
legumes including black
locust trees.
Here is the life cycle of the sleepy orange butterfly.   The caterpillar was eating leaves
from our senna (cassia) plant.  Other sulphur butterfly caterpillars eat this same plant.
Here is the life cycle of the Imperial Moth.