Last Monarch Caterpillars of the Season
Look who's in their last instar, eating up before moving on to pupate.
This plump caterpillar hatched from an egg that was laid on a native showy milkweed plant that decided to grow in the same pot as a tomato plant.
The milkweed rhizome must have been dormant in the soil of the pot until last month.
In June there was nothing growing in the soil of the pot, and I needed another large pot for one of the tomato seedlings a neighbor gave me. I assumed we would just have a tomato plant in the pot.
Well, up popped the showy milkweed, and mama monarch sniffed out the leaves.
She laid several eggs there, but this one is the survivor. And what a fine specimen it is.
Here it is from another angle.