Attack of the Silver-Spotted Skippers

Once again, gardening is all about killing butterflies. *sigh*

The first planting of Speckled Butterbeans just started flowering, so of course they’ve been invaded. Sometimes I think that no matter what I plant, something is going to come and chew on it.

Thankfully the pest is the caterpillar of the Silver-Spotted Skipper, a common small butterfly around here. The caterpillars are very easy to spot because they’re leaf-rollers- they cut out a section of leaf from the edge, pull it over themselves like a blanket, and glue it down with silk. The leaf blankets make the caterpillars easy to find and remove. I just have to go out and pick them off every day. The fish in the pond happily chomp them down. No waste.

Then when I was feeding the caterpillars I picked off the beans, I spotted another one on the alligator flag in the pond! Which is weird, since as far as I can tell, alligator flag is not a fabiacae, which is all these caterpillars are supposed to feed on.

Now that I know that the Silver-Spotted Skippers are here, I will have to add some of their native host plants to the garden plan, maybe false indigobush or American hogpeanut… but the butterfly pea would be prettier. The whole point to having a native butterfly garden is to provide host plants for butterflies, not just kill them for eating my food plants.

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