The main food plants for butterfly caterpillars


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Butterflies make happy! Everyone knows that, who has settled the lovable multicolored butterflies in their own garden. Hard to believe that these beautiful creatures were rather inconspicuous butterfly caterpillars until recently. Perfectly camouflaged, these are often overlooked by their enemies. The strategy of intervening as a butterfly caterpillar in its development as an adult insect has ensured the survival of its species for a long time. It still impresses science today, because the transformation from the caterpillar to the butterfly, the so-called metamorphosis, is one of the most fascinating processes in the animal kingdom.

The wedding flight of the adult butterflies can be admired in summer at a lofty height over meadows and flower beds. By the way, male and female moths sometimes look very different. After mating, the female lays tiny eggs on selected plants that serve the caterpillars as hatcheries after hatching. The caterpillar stage is also referred to as the "feeding stage", because now it is time to gather energy for the transformation to the butterfly.

The main forage plants

Caterpillar of the peacock's eye

Caterpillar of the swallowtail

The caterpillar of the day-peacock's eye (left) eats exclusively on large, half-caked nettle populations. The swallowtail caterpillar (right) prefers umbelliferae such as dill, carrot or fennel

Vegetarian gardeners know that caterpillars are very hungry: the caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly like to eat on cabbage plants. But do not worry, most of our butterflies have very different preferences: many of them eat stinging nettles, such as the peacock butterfly, the little fox, the admiral, the map, the painted hair and the C-butterfly - depending on the species, big or small, sunny or partially shaded stocks preferred. Some butterfly caterpillars are specialized in certain fodder crops, including the buckthorn (lemurs), meadow foxtail (Aurora), dill (dovetail) or horn clover (blue calyx).

Caterpillar Little Fox

Caterpillar of the lemon moth

The caterpillars of the small fox (left) prefer large stocks of fresh-sprouting nettles in full sun. The grass green caterpillars of the lemon moth (right) feed on the leaves of the buckthorn tree

Food plants for caterpillars and butterflies

Nectar plants for butterflies

Butterflies feed mainly on nectar. With their trunk they suck the sugary liquid from the calyx. Due to their length of proboscis, many moths are adapted to certain types of flowers; This ensures the pollination of similar flowers through the transmission of pollen. If you want to lure butterflies into the garden all season long, you should offer plants from February to November, which serve the colorful butterflies as a valuable source of nectar. These include sal willow, blue cuscions, red cabbage, red clover, lavender, thyme, phlox, summer lilac, thistle, stonecrop and autumn aster. A wildflower bed for lean soils provides food for butterflies and caterpillars. A herb garden is also a paradise for butterflies. Important: Do not use pesticides in favor of all insects.

Fat hen flowers with butterflies

The fat hen (Sedum) is a valuable food source for butterflies

Mysterious relationship: Moth

The majority of our native butterfly species is one of the moths. When the sun goes down, their time has come: At a closer look, they are no less fascinating than their diurnal relatives. They, too, often feed on the nectar of flowers, some of which even rely on their pollination and, like the evening primrose, do not open until the evening. The gamma owl is one of our most common moths. By the way, some species can also be seen during the day, such as the pigeon tail or the Russian bear.

Video Board: Insect Information : What Do Caterpillars Eat?.

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