Caterpillars in Your Yard and Garden
Brush-footed butterflies, fritillaries and wood nymphs
Viceroy caterpillars (Limenitis archippus) are present from early summer to fall. They produce two generations per year.
The full-grown caterpillar is about 1.5 inches long with white mottled patches of white-pink and green-brown. Arising from the second thoracic segment is a pair of large, brown spines or horns that are barbed. A pair of much smaller barbed tubercles, white to light green, is found on the other body segments. Host plants include willow, elm, poplar, oak, aspen and wild cherry.
About the family
Brush-footed butterflies, fritillaries and wood nymphs belong to the Nymphalidae family. Caterpillars have variable color patterns ranging from longitudinal stripes to mimicking a bird dropping. Most species are covered with prominent spines and tubercles.