Lime and strawberry jello cups

Are you getting hungry yet with that title? Today’s post is all about the lovely grass Purpletop grass, Greasegrass or some may call it Greasy-grass (Tridens flavus). Greasy-grass is what I learned to call it.

Purpletop grass (Tridens flavus) is really doing well this year! It is the tall droopy purplish topped grass. I have been seeing a lot of it along the roadsides.

This one was right outside our backdoor.

In order to key grasses, it is important to look at how the sheaths attach to the stem or ask Jeanne 😉

Another angle!

Pay attention to how it wraps around the stalk and the hairs.

Carefully look at the flowers and seed heads, however the easiest way for me it just to feel it. The grass stalk has a waxy or greasy feel to the touch. That is actually how I learned what it was. So now you got it!

This is the reason I started examining the Purpletop grass closer. I had been searching my caterpillar book for another caterpillar. Then I noticed a cat’s host plant was Purpletop. The book said it was hard to spot, therefore I took the challenge. Of course, the search was on! This was the first cat I spotted. It is the Purple-top Sun Moth (Heliocheilus lupatus)!

I started to see more and more of them!

I found sizes ranging from 23mm to 35mm!

A close up of the head!

The next one I looked at close, was this one. Its head was a bit greener.

Some of them were on the bottom of the branch.

This one was very lively and the biggest one I brought inside. Yes, I am going to try to raise it.

It did not want to stay still. But that was ok since I had gotten the others.

Here is a top view. Now you can go out and find you one!

Lastly, an action movie! So forever now, I will be watching for these cats! Now you are wondering about the jello right?

Here are the jello cups! So maybe these are the Purple-top Sun Moth eggs. Well, hopefully they hatch and I will let you know!

Each egg is 1 mm high!

A top view!

I wondered if these were fresher eggs. These were discovered on the afternoon walk. So do you agree, strawberry and lime jello cups?

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


  1. Did you take the egg photos with your camera on macro and trim the photo to get it so close up or did you use your microscope?
    Gary was really intrigued by these. He kept asking questions then I would scroll to your answer. Like what are those. How big are they. Is that the side view or do they hang on the underside and you turned it. Like right on cue for me to show him your comments.
    I LOVE Purpletop. I try to sell it at our sales but noone shows interest in it. They are best if you have a group or colony of them. I brought them from Celina but now also have it here down in the woods by the river.
    In my yard it dries up before it gets pretty so I have to water it. Our sand really drains.
    So yes when I have a chance i will go looking for the Purpletop sun Moth.
    Those egg cases are amazing and beautiful! Yep jello cups.

    1. Kathy, All the photos with the black background was done with my macro lens. The one close up of the cat with the white background was with the dissecting scope and all the other background with my phone. So glad I answered Gary’s questions 🙂 Purpletop is such a pretty grass. I do think the bunch of early leaves are nice if they are thick. You are right of course it would be a hard sell unless you have a stand of them. Then they are awesome!

    1. Judy, Yes, you can see them without a loupe, BUT to really see you need the loupe. In fact, when I noticed them at first I thought they were going to be a caterpillar.

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