Hungry Little Varmints!

While hiking the prairie trails at Prairie State Park (southwest Missouri), I came upon a stand of lovely Gaura wildflower (Gaura biennis) plants in rich bloom:

Gaura wildflower bloom, closeup


A short distance later, I discovered a Gaura plant that was pretty ragged looking:

Gaura wildflower plant, eaten by caterpillars


I closely inspected the plant, but could not find what was eating the plant … until I hiked a bit farther. I then came across another clump of Gaura plants, with several brightly colored caterpillars. Here are a few images of one of the little guys:

Caterpillar on Gaura wildflower plant

Caterpillar on Gaura wildflower plant

Caterpillar on Gaura wildflower plant


So far, I haven’t identified the species, but sure is a colorful caterpillar … and quite hungry!  (Note: A big Thank You to Ana, one of my followers, who correctly identified this as the caterpillar of the Clouded Crimson moth (Schinia gaurae). Click this link to see the adult Clouded Crimson moth, quite a beauty!)

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Posted in Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Travel Photography, Wildflowers
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