If Spider Milkweed is in the mix, it will certainly be noticed.
Seed pods soon replace flowers. By mid summer, seeds will fly and the plant will begin to enter its dormancy.
The orange bodied larvae are easy to see against the green of the plant.
Signs of feeding on the flowers is the first clue that Unexpected Tiger Moth larvae are on the plant. As the larvae grow, they move on to feed on the leaves.
Currently at Blue Jay Barrens, Butterfly Weed is much more common than Spider Milkweed and the two species grow in different areas. I am now attempting to establish Spider Milkweed populations in closer proximity to the Butterfly Weed to see if this increases the numbers of Unexpected Tiger Moths.
It takes two or three years for a Spider Milkweed plant to reach flowering stage, so it will be a while before I know if my plan is successful. I’m hopeful that I will eventually see this effort benefit the moth. Even if it doesn’t, it will be nice to have more Spider Milkweeds growing in the fields.