Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Edward's Hairstreak Caterpillar
Genus-Species: Satyrium edwardsii
Description: Dark brown with dark band and a
series of pale dashes. Late stage caterpillars eat at night and are tended by ants, which
recieve sugary secretions from a nectary on the caterpillars back end. Two frilled
tentacular organs are also located on the posterior end of the caterplllar.
Chrysalis: Speckled brown. May occur within
ant-built shelters, in ant tunnels, in nearby dead leaves, or attached to the host tree's base.
Host Plants: Scrub oak (Quercus ilicifolia) and
occasionally black oak (Q. velutina).
Habitat: Oak thickets in rocky open habitats
including sand barrens, shale barrens, and limestone ridges.
Comments: The Edward's Hairstreak caterpillar
is dark brown with dark band and a series of pale dashes. Late stage caterpillars eat at
night and are tended by ants. As daylight approaches, the ants herd caterpillars into
their underground chambers where they spend the daylight hours. The ants receive
sweet liquid from the caterpillars, which is produced by a special tentacle-shaped gland.
Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy,
while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars
share certain morphological features.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.