Dave Tylka recently told me about a problem with the Genista broom caterpillar/moth. In some places it is devastating the blue baptisias in some gardens.
I just recently noticed this caterpillar and I’m raising one to see what the moth looks like. According to Dave, it only eats the blue baptisia.
You can control it with hand picking or BT if you have a lot. Some people have reported losing their plant. Here’s a link from GardenWeb with other people’s experience.
Here’s a list of dates for butterfly walks in and near the St. Louis area – everyone is welcome.
Identifying butterflies, especially skippers can be a challenge and I guarantee you’ll need some help. This little guy is a Sachem skipper – male. I only found that out with help from Jeff Pippen who not only identified it, but also gave me a link to all of his great pictures. (link) Please visit his site and I guarantee it will hep you in identifying butterflies in general and skippers in particular.
P.S. – See the black square patch at the end of the wing – that’s the identifying mark.
Another great site I just found is Butterflies of America. While the website is fairly plain, the pictures it contains are not. I’m impressed. It should really help a novice in identifying butterflies.