Monday, November 08, 2010

No Pain, No Gain

My wife and I both like passionflower (passiflora) vines and we have a couple in our yard. One has small yellow flowers but the other has those large, very exotic-looking purple blossoms.

Unfortunately, the vines are not doing too well at present. In fact, they're looking awful, because their leaves have been nibbled half to death by bugs.

The culprits are these orange-colored caterpillars.
It won't be long until these little fellows have eaten through virtually all of the vines' leaves. Then, if previous years are anything to go by, at least one of the vines will die.

However, we aren't going to try to get rid of the caterpillars. This is because they will eventually transform into beautiful Gulf Fritillary butterflies. These butterflies need passifloras because they are the only plants that the Fritillary uses as a site for laying their eggs and where their caterpillars can later feed.

It's a pity that we'll probably lose one of the vines but I suppose it's a case of no pain, no gain. And the Fritillaries are worth it.

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