Along with many others we have a healthy patch of milkweed plants in the garden to do our bit for the protection of monarch butterflies. In the last few days the flowers have opened and while the monarchs have not been seen yet many other insects have taken notice and come around for the nectar.
This large fellow appeared and caught my eye. Handsome chap I said ti myself and took its portrait – then I realized why it looks familiar. This is the Squash Vine Borer Moth which is a major pest of Cucurbitae (squash, cucumbers, courgettes etc) and something we take great pains to remove from the Fritz Garden. Its larvae – caterpillars – bore into the stems of squash plants near ground level and then work upwards and eventually kill the host plant. Very hard to contend with and now it seems they are fuelled by milkweed nectar – which, of course, we also grow beside the Fritz Garden.