2 May 2011

Caterpillars attacking an ornamental cabbage plant

I saw these caterpillars attacking an ornamental cabbage plant in the garden.  If left unattended, these hungry caterpillars can easily defoliate a plant in a few days.  The lifecycle of the caterpillar consists of an egg, caterpillar or larva, pupa and adult. Adult female moths, which are generally most active at night but can be seen during the daytime, lay eggs on the undersides of leaves.    These eggs hatch into caterpillars which in turn begin to  consume the foliage of the plant.  The caterpillars may either eat the entire leaf or parts of the leaf leaving the area around the mid-vein.  As fascinating as they are, I wanted to preserve the ornamental cabbage plant which meant getting rid of the caterpillars. 

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