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Viceroy Caterpillars on pussy willow
It is early spring at Fowl Meadow in Milton, Massachusetts. A small pussy willow sapling has struggled over the winter months and many of its branches have shriveled and died. Two full-grown viceroy caterpillars wander the plant. They have already devoured all signs of emerging leaves and they will have to move on if they want to keep feeding. A third viceroy still rests inside its silky hibernaculum. Maybe if it bides its time, new leaves will grow. So much of a caterpillar’s success depends on timing.