Wisconsin Native Caterpillars

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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.

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