Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gulf Fritillaries -- a gluten-free post

These guys are definitely not edible. The Gulf Fritillary and other longwing butterflies live exclusively on passionflower vines as caterpillars... the plant that produces passion fruit. [Incidentally, the name comes from the flower's resemblance to the biblical crown of thorns; the fruit isn't an aphrodisiac.]
The leaves produce very small amounts of arsenic and the caterpillars absorb it and release it through their spines. Sometimes they're just orange and black, but sometimes they get fancy. This one even has striped eyes.

It's getting to be the end of the season for these guys. Just thought I'd share.

1 comment:

  1. When so many people try to kill the "pests" that eat their plant leaves its nice to know that some find that their main objective.....