June 2014 and I’m spending way too much time with this caterpillar and its buddy. No not in southwestern Pennsylvania. We’re on Mt. Meron in the upper Galillee region of Israel. Sure, almost all of you associate Israel with strife and bitter feelings. Nope. Most of Israel is serene, purposeful, and for sure, beautiful.
An earlier post here, entitled Fascinating caterpillars ID’d introduced all to the Mullein moth caterpillar, Charaxes Jasius. They remained on that same Verbascum Sinuatum plant for 2 days, at least. Munching and then resting, munching and resting. After that, I don’t know? Nothing and no one bothered them. Fat, juicy prey? Quien sabe? There was an endless number of potential predators nearby, but they remained unscathed. Protective toxins within? Coloration that mimicked toxic species?
Once Oz Ben Yehuda provided identification of this species, I was fascinated to learn that naturalists and the rest of us encounter them in North Africa, most of Europe and here in the Middle East. That is a whole lot of geography.