I have a very interesting case of one caterpillar eating sage. I am growing lettuce and the herb sage in the house for the winter. The lettuce had lots of caterpillars eating it so I put it back outside. I have never seen a caterpillar on the sage. I figured it was not their taste—too strong and distinctive.
A Fat Green Caterpillar Eating Sage Was the Culprit
One day I was watering the sage and noticed that a lot of leaves were missing as if they had been chomped off. See the severed stems in the picture to the left. After close examination I found a fat green caterpillar-very plump from all the sage he had eaten. I immediately plucked him and the leaf and threw them in the trash. I wanted to preserve the sage for my own culinary use. In terms of bugs in the garden I am quite ruthless figuring that this is part of the “circle of life.”
The next day my daughter was walking down our hallway and shrieked: “Oh my goodness! Look at this! Didn’t you put this caterpillar in the trash yesterday???
There was the caterpillar crawling down the hallway about 5 feet from the trash can. He had crawled all the way out of the trash can and apparently was looking for some plants to eat.
I just found this so amazing that I put him back onto a sage plant. After all that valiant effort I couldn’t plop him back into the trash. The caterpillar was making every effort to get back to a plant. He was putting in his best effort to find some more food. Crawling out of the trash can and down the hallway looking for something to eat or so I thought.
After a short time on the leaf he crawled under it and started to enclose himself in a cocoon. He wasn’t looking for food. He was looking for a place to start his next stage of life. And he put in a lot of effort—he didn’t just give up and die in the trash can. Nature can be so amazing—who could imagine that the caterpillar would get out of the trash can! I am watching his cocoon to see what he emerges as.
I found a discussion about inchworms on sage–once you click on the link just scroll down a bit to get to the part about the sage. There is a picture of a cocoon under a sage leaf that looks exactly like the cocoon on my sage! And as I think about it the picture above does look like an inchworm–just a very fat one!
For the end of this story see what emerged from this chrysalis!