Sighting for April 15, 2020

Edward Perry IV

Mason Terrace, Melbourne, FL, 32935
Brevard County, FL

Yard butterflies:
So, in my vegetable garden I noticed some turnip leaves getting some caterpillar action. I checked them out closely and thought they might be Great Southern White butterflies. Adults had been hanging around the garden lately, but I also have their native host (pepper grass) in my yard, which I don’t cut or pull up. I see a female lay the odd egg once in a while on the pepper grass; I’ve never had the fun of watching a cat grow up on it however. It turns out Brassica rapa (turnip) is a known host for GSW, and interestingly that the white form of the butterfly uses Müllerian mimicry with other white butterflies that store mustard oils in the body. I am currently hopeful for some chrysalis and am happy to share my turnips with the butterflies! This morning I caught a female laying directly on a turnip leaf! Not just an egg, but 43 of them, before she flew off! Looking at the eggs after using my macro lens, I think I know now what they fashioned the Alien eggs after in the hit movie saga.

  • Great Southern White abundant

Great Southern White eggs

Great Southern White laying eggs

Great Southern White caterpillars