Nibbles, Eggs, Frass

I went out this morning to see if I could find anything interesting happening in the pocket prairie. I was hoping to see something new starting to bloom and we are getting really close to the first seeded flowers opening up but I noticed somethings been eating on my milkweed. And Pooping on it. Here’s a potentially new word for you: frass. It’s an informal way to say (caterpillar) poo. Some of the master gardeners have t-shirts that say “Frass Happens” on one side and “roll with it” on the other (and there’s a dung beetle to boot!).

So the dark, blue/black looking spot you see on that leaf, that’s frass. Couple that with the leaves being eaten on and I know SOMEONE caterpillar-like has been here. And someone has laid eggs on the bottom of the same leaves. The eggs are the tiny yellow pill shaped things in the top picture. Possibly, everyone is related. I’m still working on this since IDing eggs is new to me. For all I know, those are ladybug eggs. I’m hoping to get the opinion of more experienced people on Facebook. The other thing I’m waiting to see is the eaters in action. This will help me learn a lot more.

All in all, I’m feeling very successful in planting something and attracting wildlife. Hopefully I can see them before they are gone!
What do you think is eating, pooping and laying eggs here? I’m curious about your thoughts on all of this.


5/12/2016 The good people in a closed Facebook group about butterflies have helped me come to the conclusion that the eggs belong to a Milkweed Bug and not a butterfly. This is still a win in my mind because I see that a bug who likes milkweed has found mine. And it hasn’t been there all that long. I have gone out to inspect and look for the nibblers but have yet to see them. Next idea is to go after dark with a flashlight.
I also inspected the milkweed growing in my backyard. It has no damage and no eggs. Its all very interesting to me. But I also have 2 hens that are frequently out in the yard inspecting everything for me. lol.

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