Posts Tagged 'caterpillars'

Mushroom Monday

To everything there is a season, and these mushrooms were on the way to deliquescing into ooze. Ants in the first picture. In the second, the white rice-looking things are alive. They are some kind of springtails, possibly of the genus Ceratophysella, and are scavenging on the rich fruit of these fruiting bodies. As always, you can click on these images to pop them open, although you may wish to pass on this one.I read recently a comment from a lower Hudson River valley mushroom hunter, who said this fall has seen the most mushroom in half a century. It was extraordinarily wet, that’s for sure.Large Yellow Webworm caterpillar.

Hairy Cs

It seems the Yellow Bear caterpillar is yellow in early instars, but then individuals takes on a variety of colors. Virginia Tiger Moth, Spilosoma virginica. In Green-Wood last week. The pupae overwinter.Hickory Tussock (Lophocampa caryae) named after a favored food (Carya genus), but “expected on almost any woody species,” says caterpillar maven David L. Wagner. Found all over two weeks ago at a spot along the NY/CT border. Pupae also overwinter.Four days later, this one was still munching away. On the underside of the leaf both days. I suppose that makes this grizzly bear slightly less conspicuous.
***

A quick update on GoFundMe. First off, thank you again for contributing. The page is still open for anyone else wishing to contribute. Monies take 2-5 days to transfer; the camera shop is closed until Wednesday. (FYI, out-of-towners: the emporium follows an ancient lunar calendar). When forced to shop, I’m a tactile shopper, so I need to see and hold the cameras I’m looking at before making any decisions.

Statue of Butterflies

Under each wingpit, a chrysalis. At the tips of the wings, emptied husks of chrysalises. On the left wing, a chrysalis and brand new Monarch. Harder to see, but way down below the drape of rocky dress, another ripening chrysalis. Pictures from Saturday. Yesterday, I counted two butterflies and half a dozen chrysalises in process in this patch; the nearby feeding station of Buddleia, butterfly bush, had four more adults on it.This one looks like it was gotten to by something.It is that time of year when a walker on the numbered avenues of Brooklyn sees Monarchs fluttering overhead, at cornice height, heading south-westerly.The flight looks so weak, I almost feel like I can catch up. Almost.

Death Comes for the Monarch

There are some ants on the remains of this Monarch larva. Waste not, want not. I’ve seen a couple caterpillars in this position, suspended in preparation for starting the pupa, who didn’t make it. The Spined Soldier Bugs (nymphs and adults) are one enemy, but I wonder what other creatures or diseases strike these plump cats down. Remember, milkweed essentially fills a caterpillar with toxins, yet obviously the Spined Soldier, among others, can handle that.The rain too has made a contribution to the dissolution of some corpses. But I must be feeling optimistic:
***

Do you know the story of the Callery Pear? It’s another invasive nightmare.

Monarchs: The Next Generation

Chrysalis down! It was still attached, so I positioned this leaf in the thicket so that the pupa would hang down.Half of the newly emerged adults seen Friday.Larval stage still at it.This early instar was as long as a dime across.Milkweeds make butterflies. These have been completely stripped of leaves. This tiny patch had two dozen caterpillars on it two weeks ago.

Return of the Return of Monarchy

I hope you didn’t think you were going to get away from these things, did you? I’ve had an unparalleled experience watching these critters for two-three weeks now. Missed all this in school, by the way, but must say, the wild is more appealing. A variation on the pattern; I’ve seen similar once before.
***

Already on shaky ground truth-wise, Kavanaugh firmly denies, following his rapey boss Trump’s strategy of deny, deny, deny… while, paradoxically, Republicans insist that what a white prep school boy does at 17 doesn’t count anymore. Pollitt discusses. Remember, Trump called for the execution of teenage rapists (they were innocent, by the way; of course they were also black) and it’s standard Republican strategy to brand sex offenders for life. Meanwhile, Kavanaugh dissented in a decision to let a 17-year-old in immigrant detention have the abortion she wanted: he wanted to force her to have a child.

Is it too much to say that forcing girls and women is a through-line in the ideology of this repellent radical misogynist?

Smeared Dagger!

The Smartweed Caterpillar is also known after its adult moth form, the Smeared Dagger (Acronicta oblinita). According to Wagner’s Caterpillars of Eastern North America, these are quite variable.Here’s another, missing the red highlights. Excellent opportunity to see the morphology here: the three pairs of thoracic legs (with simple claws) on the left, the four pairs of anterior prolegs, and the pair of anal prolegs (all with hooks and hair-like setae). Tuffs of setae are found in many of the 75 North American species in this genus (!).

Wagner’s book is filled with amazing images of caterpillars, most of which I’ve never seen. For instance, this is the first time I’ve run into this spectacular species. (Inexhaustible nature!) There were three of them visible on Friday. The adult moth is quite plain in comparison.


Share

Bookmark and Share

Join 557 other followers

Nature Blog Network

Archives