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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Saturday - September 19, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Orange-red caterpillar with black spikes on passionflower vine
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What kind of orange-red caterpillar with black spikes is all over my passion vine?

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants is not an entomologist, but according to the Austin Bug Collection the Agraulis vanillae (Gulf fritillary) is "by far our most common passionflower butterfly."  Another orange and black caterpillar found on passionflowers is Euptoieta claudia (variegated fritillary).  Hopefully, one of these matches the caterpilllar on your passionflower vines.

 

 

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