One of our readers sent us an email asking about a specific caterpillar that has yellow stripes. This caterpillar was eating one specific plant in her yard and it is about an inch in length. This is a very tough one because this caterpillar could be a number of species. There are about 180,000 species of caterpillars in the world, so without a picture, this has been a hard one to determine.
There are quite a few caterpillars in the world with yellow stripes however. It could be any type from a Monarch caterpillar, Swallowtail, American Lady, or Queen Caterpillar.
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If it is the Monarch, these caterpillars eat one specific type of plant called the milkweed plant. The Monarch butterflies are also born on milkweed plants. When the caterpillars begin to eat these plants, they will eat all of them that are in their sites. They will move from plant to plant until they are all gone. Monarch butterflies and caterpillars live mostly in North America.
If this caterpillar is the Swallowtail, it will also be found in parts of North America. The Swallowtail eats a variety of plants however. If the reader only saw it eating one plant, there is a big chance that it was not the Swallowtail.
The American Lady caterpillar also lives in North America and has beautiful yellow stripes. Because of the variety of plants and flowers that they also like to feed on, this is probably not our reader’s caterpillar either.
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Lastly, this could be the Queen caterpillar. This caterpillar lives in North and South America and is absolutely beautiful to look at in caterpillar and butterfly form. It has beautiful yellow stripes that go all the way down its body. It also likes to eat milkweed and many other plants and flowers. This could possibly be our reader’s caterpillar as well.
This is a very difficult task that we have been given because there are quite a few different species of caterpillars with these yellow stripes. It would be best for our reader to check out what types of caterpillars are in their area. There are colleges, museums, and universities that can help our reader to get a better idea of what they are looking at in their yard.
Our reader also wants to know what to do about the caterpillars and how she can get rid of them. We certainly do not want our reader to kill these beautiful creatures, but there are ways to help move them away from the plants they are eating. You can start planting many varieties of butterfly plants and bushes in your yard to help sway them away from your other plants that you may want to use for your kitchen. There are quite a few types of these butterfly bushes and you can find them at your local nursery. You can always physically move the caterpillars off of your plants and place them on other nectar carrying plants.
In summary, these caterpillars are very hard for us to recognize without a proper picture. There are quite a few options as to what it could be and by doing more research on what lives in your area, you will more than likely find the answers you are looking for.