nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonatural…






Millions of tiny mystery caterpillars -_-
What do they eat? WHO KNOWS???
What do they turn into? HELL IF I KNOW

Eggs were covered in white fuzz from mamas belly and they have five pairs of prolegs, egg mass was on live oak. I gave them the Polyphagous Caterpillar Variety Pack buffet (rose, live oak, hackberry, and sage). They should eat ONE of those.

Tiny mystery babs are the WORST because how do you keep them in a habitat??? They are SO SMOL. They’re in a lidded food container for now… hopefully they eat everything and grow very large

October 7, 2018

OKAY results of the taste test are in. They are delicious. Wait no that’s not what I meant!!

They nibbled all the plants, but they’re going nuts over rose leaves. So, that’s what they get!

October 8, 2018

The very hungry caterpillars

They are only eating rose, and they have tiny adorable spots. I think they may be tortricid moths.

October 9, 2018

Their hunger is endless

Getting big! Eating the flowers and making pink rose poops 😂

October 12, 2018

#you lucky bastard #where do you keep finding all these babies

In my yard! (with one two exceptions). My recommendation for improving your moth egg/caterpillar-finding skills: 

(1) Get a good headlamp
(2) Go outside at night

It helps if you have access to an area that is somewhat “wild,” which for me is my yard. It can also be a neighborhood hiking trail or the ditch a couple blocks from your home. I don’t treat anything with pesticides, and I’ll let random weeds pop up and do their thing. In many cases, weeds are just native wildflowers, which means they are often the preferred food for lots of insects. Or, you can have a regular garden where you grow vegetables, flowers, bushes, ground cover, trees, etc, but just don’t use pesticides. This includes the whole “spraying the plant with soap” thing. That kills insects, which is why it keeps them from eating your plants.

Most moths and caterpillars are active at night. I frequently find moths in the act of laying eggs (I found a Polyphemus moth laying eggs on the side of my house, when I brought her inside and she blessed me with abundant green squishy babs). ALSO, caterpillars and moth/butterfly eggs are often very well camouflaged, and on the underside of leaves. During the day, they are all backlit and effectively become invisible. At night? They’re no longer backlit, and you have the benefit of shadows and superior color perception to find them. Other clues: piles of caterpillar poops, nibbles at the edges of leaves (or missing leaves entirely)

One more tip: Go outside, at night and during the day, and look for bugs every day. I don’t find eggs or caterpillars every time I go outside.  But I go outside so often that I’m bound to find something.

October 13, 2018