Okefenokee Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Tiger Moth Caterpillar eating Golden Club leaves in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. May 4, 2020. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

The Okefenokee blackwater is decorated in the spring with the golden fingers and bright green plumes of the Golden Club plant (Orontium aquaticum). The waxy leaves are shed water droplets and always seem dry, hence the name “Neverwet.”

As I had my canoe anchored on a bed of bonnet lilies to photograph some Golden Club fruit, I noticed a nearby plume of Neverwet leaves had been chewed upon considerably. Flipping a leaf, a fuzzy brown Tiger Moth caterpillar about half the length of my thumb was going to town! Since that growth of Golden Club was completely surrounded by water, I wonder if that caterpillar was laid and hatched on those leaves and was living all if is short live on this little “island in the stream.”

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/47382644

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