Hollyhock (Alcea sp.)

Otero County, New Mexico
The common garden hollyhock comes in a variety of colors and forms.  It is a member of the "Mallow" family, and is used as a host plant by the larvae of butterflies, moths, and sawflies (Hymenoptera) that use other species of mallow.  Below are some pictures of species I have found here in New Mexico, this season (2007).

different colors

The West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella) often make "tents' for their caterpillars, and they vary in color

The Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) caterpillars are variable, and they primarily eat the flowers, not leaves.

The White (?) Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus albascens (?)) caterpillars are small and make a nest. They eat leaves.

The Arizona Powdered Skipper (Systasea zampa) caterpillars are larger and also make a nest. They eat leaves.

Some moth species use it as a host too...species unknown

The Sawfly larva ( Arge species?) look like caterpillars, are very messy, and can make the plant look bad, often stripping many leaves.  I do not recommend pesticides to get rid of them.  I just prune the leaves they are working on.
images copyright Bob Barber