Sunday, July 21, 2013

Return of the Cabbage Whites

The cabbage white butterflies, or more precisely their larvae, have returned to our horseradish plant. They're really doing a number on it, too.

Dave and I had planned to make a salad with some of the leaves, like we did last summer. But now I'm thinking we might leave them to the bugs. I don't know exactly how many caterpillars we have, but there are at least four.

Some are green, like this one.

And some have black stripes, like this one. They may be variants of the same species -- I'm not sure.

At least we're early in the season and they ought to proceed through their life cycle in time to enjoy some summer flight, unlike our laggard butterfly from last fall.

An added bonus, and another excuse for leaving the plant alone -- a larval ladybug!


  1. I love the wild kingdom at your house!

    That's a larval ladybug? How did you know?

  2. I love how you leave all these beings be. We're not quite so sanguine about the tomato worm - if we see it off the sucker goes! (We don't kill them - we just remove them from the vicinity of our tomatoes)

  3. Reya: I happened to look up the two-spot ladybug just the other day, when I found one in Hyde Park. (Pic is about two posts back.) When I did that, they had a photo of the larvae, and so when I saw this one I knew what it was right away! Just good timing.

    Bug: I try to let nature take its course, though I am always a little worried about how much damage the worms do! We don't eat this horseradish much -- it's more for fun and for show -- so despite our loss of a salad, they're not really taking food away from us. :)

  4. Oh cool! I love that you are allowing the bugs and crawlies live- When Erik was younger he watched , with his camera, the lady bug larva on our birch tree not knowing what they were and then, the back on one started opening- the body falling away,like a amy fly, like an alien thing!!! a lady bug all sticky and not quite ready to fly emerged and clung to the leaf until the next day. All caught on Erik's funky little camera. So, maybe , if you at home, you might catch some interesting changes! Dexter sends woofs to Olga- he wants to sniff her.

  5. hmm that was "may fly", not an amy fly...

  6. Haha! You are raising bugs! And I love that.

  7. Maybe you should have two plants: one for the bugs and one for your own consumption!

    Do you think Pat (her kids, really) will come back? I keep hoping Charlotte left some offspring behind but nothing as yet.