Wisconsin Native Caterpillars

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Red Admiral Caterpillar

Genus-Species: Vanessa atalanta

Description: Variable in color, ranging from yellow all the way to black. Black individuals are covered with minute yellow flecks. Six groups of branched spines cross each segment.

Chrysalis: May be gray or brown with black markings. Short tubercles cover the body and a speckled with gold flecks.

Host Plants: Plants of the nettle family (Urticaceae) including Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), Tall wild nettle (U. gracilis), Wood nettle (Laportea canadensis), False nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica)

Habitat: Found in a wide variety of habitats, especially when it is abundant. Usually found at woodland edges, along streams, woodland trails, and nectaring in nearby fields.

Comments: The Red Admiral, like the American Lady and the Painted Lady, varies greatly in numbers from year to year

Adult Butterfly Profile
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Caterpillar Quiz

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.

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How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult bitterfly.

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