Photo of the Week – November 12, 2010

Back in mid-September I spotted this caterpillar feeding on the flowers of pitcher sage – a beautiful tall blue flower – in one of our prairies.  I’m pretty sure I’ve photographed this same kind of caterpillar before but don’t know what it is?  Tiger moth larva maybe?

Caterpiller on pitcher sage (Salvia azurea). The Nature Conservancy's Platte River Prairies - Nebraska.

Sometimes I find surprises in my photographs as I’m looking through them after the fact.  Such was the case with this one.  While I was concentrating on the big fuzzy caterpillar (and fighting the gentle breeze that kept swinging it away from me…) I didn’t notice the little inchworm and ant on the next flower over.  Fortunately, they don’t detract from the photo – in fact I like them there because it helps portray the diversity of life in prairies – even on a single flower cluster!


About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
This entry was posted in General, Prairie Insects, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Photo of the Week – November 12, 2010

  1. Lovely photo! The larger one looks like a Salt Marsh Moth caterpillar.


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