Caterpillars Ate My Cabbage Plants!
Me thinks these plants would have fared much better with a row cover!
You should be able to count 18 or more caterpillars on the underside of the savoy cabbage leaf in the photo. (Click on any image to see a larger view.)
These little critters have huge appetites just like all the other caterpillars out there. It seems they were born to eat.
Actually, it’s more like eat, molt, eat, molt until they morph into adult moths.
The particular cabbage worms photographed here appear to be the early larval stages of the Promethea Moth, Callosamia promethea.
Caterpillars of Eastern North America, by David L. Wagner, states that many trees are their common foodplants, like “ash, buttonbush, cherry, horse sugar, lilac, magnolia, sassafras, silver bells, spicebush, sweet bay, sweet gum, and tulip tree.”
We can add baby savoy cabbage to the list of their favorite foods!
You can bet the next time cabbage is planted in the garden it will be covered with a row cover right away.