The Goldenrod Flower Caterpillar, Schinia nundina, is just one member of a diverse and visually compelling genus of flower and seed eating caterpillars. Some Schinia flower caterpillars are expertly camouflaged against a floral backdrop, others resemble seed pods, and a few species display bright and contrasting warning coloration.
My first experience with the Goldenrod Flower Caterpillar was an accidental one. A bouquet of cut flowers from a New England meadow delivered a few into my kitchen.
"An expanse of white countertop
Scattered across the surface are tiny black grains like spilled pepper. Looming above is a vase of cut flowers taken from an late summer field. Aster, joe-pye-weed, goldenrod: Each is home to one or more tiny uninvited caterpillars. Dropping frass into untidy piles far below on my kitchen counter"
TCL Executive Director
Each week (or at least SOME weeks!) The Caterpillar Lab features a "Caterpillar of the Week." Each featured caterpillar is a species we've raised at our lab in Keene, NH. We hope you enjoy meeting the caterpillars of New England!