Author: Naturalism in Texas (and Sometimes Other Places)

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Ready for another caterpillar flavor? I found a Polyphemus moth laying eggs on the side of my house. Brought her inside, put her in an enclosure while I grabbed a paper bag (easier to collect eggs on paper!!!), and she laid FIVE eggs in the 10 seconds it took me to get back to her.

Last year, I struggled with keeping my Polyphemus babes fed, since the trees they eat were not abundant in my yard (they ate all the little saplings down to sticks!). But this year, I anticipated Good Moth Luck, and have let all the elm saplings get big and tall regardless of how inconveniently placed they are. And here we are! 😀

August 31, 2018

Guess who’s here?

Mama moth laid 90 eggs and thankfully I was able to give away most of them. I kept 20 eggs for myself, and they started hatching this morning. Exciting!!

September 8, 2018

My fat babies 😭

I gave away 5 more eggs, and three have yet to hatch, so only 12 caterpillars right now. Much easier than 90!!

September 10, 2018

Newborn Alert!

Compare the size of a newly hatched baby pillar with her two-day-old siblings.

September 10, 2018

Baby’s First Molt

You can see his old face is starting to come off! Exciting!

September 11, 2018

Molting underway!

Fresh new clothes! In the top photo, you can see the baby’s old skin behind him (it’s the dry yellow thing). In the bottom photo, you can see all their discarded head capsules (I circled them). I collect caterpillar faces!

Remember: they are four days old at this point.

September 12, 2018

Gaze upon my large children

September 13, 2018

Oops forgot to post these yesterday!! Got distracted by BIRD NONSENSE

I probably need to feed them again. They are eating machines!!!

September 15, 2018

Important new development: Hairy Toes

September 20, 2018

The molting and cuteness are everlasting. Soon they will have their walrus mustaches.

September 22, 2018

The bigger they get, the sillier their molt dance gets. Check out the complete celebratory ridiculousness here [link to previous post]

Wow wouldn’t it be nice if I could post a video reblog on mobile?!

September 23, 2018

Polyphemus moth caterpillars do an interpretiv…

Polyphemus moth caterpillars do an interpretive dance to celebrate the completion of every molt.

September 22, 2018

What about plants that look like vaginas? Got …

What about plants that look like vaginas? Got any of those?

surprisingly few! i think it’s because in the plant and fungi kingdoms, the goal in the case of a phallic structure is to get stuff out, whereas a yonic structure might be more geared towards keeping things in, which is only ideal for a plant if you have very special needs for it. you’ve got the parasitic plant Hydnora africana, for instance, which has a cage-structure flower that temporarily traps in beetles that come to pollinate it to increase the amount of pollen it can expose them to: 

another is a personal fave of mine, the entire Nepenthes genus of asian pitcher plants, which are evolutionarily geared toward retaining digestive fluid to dissolve insects in for food. here’s a very popular and well known one in the collecting community for it’s unusual shape, Nepenthes aristolochioides

Nepenthes ampullaria is another fan-favorite, famous for forming adorable little heaps on the forest floor: 

and then you’ve got more niche ones, like Nepenthes mirabilis var. echinostoma:

as for an example of a species from this genus you shouldn’t put ur dick in, there’s my fave species, Nepenthes villosa

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Boring text post

If I am not responsive to y’all, please know that it’s not because you’re annoying (you’re never annoying), or that I’m too good to acknowledge you (we are equals and I love you), it’s because my personal life has been profoundly stressful for the entire year and it is catching up with me while simultaneously becoming much worse.

In short, I have to find a new job before next summer, but preferably ASAP, because my employer is moving to Massachusetts (*clutches my sub-tropical caterpillars*), and they have not been good to me so I’m not going with them. The tricky part is the more advanced your education and experience, the fewer the job openings and oh boy do I have masters in engineering.

On the off chance any of you have connections that may benefit somebody looking for sciency/educationy/engineeringy/project-managey work in Austin, TX, please help a human out.

If you do not have connections, I will also appreciate photos of bugs and mushrooms and weird plants, and/or stories of fun things you find outside, because your joy in and love of nature is honestly the only thing that brings light to my otherwise dark and bleak days.

September 22, 2018

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Ready for another caterpillar flavor? I found a Polyphemus moth laying eggs on the side of my house. Brought her inside, put her in an enclosure while I grabbed a paper bag (easier to collect eggs on paper!!!), and she laid FIVE eggs in the 10 seconds it took me to get back to her.

Last year, I struggled with keeping my Polyphemus babes fed, since the trees they eat were not abundant in my yard (they ate all the little saplings down to sticks!). But this year, I anticipated Good Moth Luck, and have let all the elm saplings get big and tall regardless of how inconveniently placed they are. And here we are! 😀

August 31, 2018

Guess who’s here?

Mama moth laid 90 eggs and thankfully I was able to give away most of them. I kept 20 eggs for myself, and they started hatching this morning. Exciting!!

September 8, 2018

My fat babies 😭

I gave away 5 more eggs, and three have yet to hatch, so only 12 caterpillars right now. Much easier than 90!!

September 10, 2018

Newborn Alert!

Compare the size of a newly hatched baby pillar with her two-day-old siblings.

September 10, 2018

Baby’s First Molt

You can see his old face is starting to come off! Exciting!

September 11, 2018

Molting underway!

Fresh new clothes! In the top photo, you can see the baby’s old skin behind him (it’s the dry yellow thing). In the bottom photo, you can see all their discarded head capsules (I circled them). I collect caterpillar faces!

Remember: they are four days old at this point.

September 12, 2018

Gaze upon my large children

September 13, 2018

Oops forgot to post these yesterday!! Got distracted by BIRD NONSENSE

I probably need to feed them again. They are eating machines!!!

September 15, 2018

Important new development: Hairy Toes

September 20, 2018

The molting and cuteness are everlasting. Soon they will have their walrus mustaches.

September 22, 2018

And I thought I was done with butterflies 😂 F…

And I thought I was done with butterflies 😂 Found 5!! Queens (the largest I have ever seen out in the yard!) and the Gulf Fritillaries are still laying eggs on the passion vine.

Good thing, too. I’m visiting an elementary school in October and I was worried the Polyphemus moths would be in cocoons by then, but now I have lots of backups!

September 22, 2018

When you get distracted by a drone fly and don…

When you get distracted by a drone fly and don’t notice the ragweed-obscured fire ant mound you trampled through while wearing a long skirt.

Too bad the bird observatory was empty, nobody got to enjoy my fire ant dance complete with mid-set wardrobe change.

Pro-tip: if ya can’t stay out of the bushes, always wear tall boots and keep spare clothes. Didn’t have to drive home in my underwear or anything! And only a couple stings on my thighs instead of a couple hundred on my lower legs!

Stay tuned for the ARMADILLO VIDEO (she practically stepped on my toes she was so close 😭)

September 21, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

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Ready for another caterpillar flavor? I found a Polyphemus moth laying eggs on the side of my house. Brought her inside, put her in an enclosure while I grabbed a paper bag (easier to collect eggs on paper!!!), and she laid FIVE eggs in the 10 seconds it took me to get back to her.

Last year, I struggled with keeping my Polyphemus babes fed, since the trees they eat were not abundant in my yard (they ate all the little saplings down to sticks!). But this year, I anticipated Good Moth Luck, and have let all the elm saplings get big and tall regardless of how inconveniently placed they are. And here we are! 😀

August 31, 2018

Guess who’s here?

Mama moth laid 90 eggs and thankfully I was able to give away most of them. I kept 20 eggs for myself, and they started hatching this morning. Exciting!!

September 8, 2018

My fat babies 😭

I gave away 5 more eggs, and three have yet to hatch, so only 12 caterpillars right now. Much easier than 90!!

September 10, 2018

Newborn Alert!

Compare the size of a newly hatched baby pillar with her two-day-old siblings.

September 10, 2018

Baby’s First Molt

You can see his old face is starting to come off! Exciting!

September 11, 2018

Molting underway!

Fresh new clothes! In the top photo, you can see the baby’s old skin behind him (it’s the dry yellow thing). In the bottom photo, you can see all their discarded head capsules (I circled them). I collect caterpillar faces!

Remember: they are four days old at this point.

September 12, 2018

Gaze upon my large children

September 13, 2018

Oops forgot to post these yesterday!! Got distracted by BIRD NONSENSE

I probably need to feed them again. They are eating machines!!!

September 15, 2018

Important new development: Hairy Toes

September 20, 2018

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Fetal moths. Vine Sphinx eggs in the microscope today. They had started changing colors so I know I needed a closer look. Good thing I did!

Both were green striped this morning. By afternoon, one had turned yellow (the color of the developing caterpillar!), and the one that was still green had developed a visible heartbeat. The yellow one tested out his chompers!!! These caterpillars are the ones with the tails (aka “hornworms”), and you can see the yellow baby’s little tail curled up by his face.

By evening, the yellow one had hatched. So precious!

July 8, 2018

Right so this chompy baby? Still in the egg? From one week ago?

They grow SO FAST.

July 15, 2018

You’re a good caterpillar parent!!!

Awww thanks. I love my babies

Look how much he grew in ONE DAY!!!

Yesterday morning, I saw the baby was molting (again?! So soon?!). Look at his little face popping off!

This evening? All done! And, CHOCOLATE-flavored! Look how big! Remember, this is the babe who was IN THAT EGG 10 DAYS AGO.

For whatever reason, the three I raised in captivity (who molted in captivity) have turned brown in the final caterpillar stage, compared to the wild ones who were green. I’ve read the brown color is common in captive sphinx moths. Very interesting!

What a mess. Their poops are the size of chickpeas and they can strip a vine bare in no time.

One of the older sausages. I have to drag out the ladder to feed them now, they ate all the vine within my reach!

July 18, 2018

My tiny chompy baby, two weeks old:

July 22, 2018

I just got home today and guess what??

Where is baby??? Wait, that mound wasn’t there before… OH!!!! Baby made it all the way to the bottom 😭

(Above: bad photo of the hole he chewed in the paper towel base so I can watch him 😭)

Recently I was fondly remembering his birth, when I noticed his egg was empty… where did he go?!

He was scaling an empty Question Mark chrysalis. What, you don’t have those laying around? 😛

With his two older siblings. My squishy child is growing so fast 😭

July 23, 2018

It has been a while and I was getting concerned, so last night I dug into the dirt pile to check up on the baby.

Look at this dirt cocoon! Nice and spacious!

This rolly pupa is so cute! My baby was spinning around trying to get comfortable. I put him back in his dirt cocoon after I checked up on him. Nice and healthy!

August 18, 2018

It’s been A MONTH and my baby still hasn’t come out. Is he okay??? I had to check.

Yup he’s fine 😂 Just a late loomer for now.

September 19, 2018

Regular

lwhittie:

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erpprincess:

thelizlords:

lwhittie:

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lwhittie:

The snoot that shouldn’t be booped.

Boop. The. Snoot!

Boop. The. Snoot!

Boop

Mistake

This is it. The best post on Tumblr.

I can rest here awhile knowing that I’ve reached peak artistic potential.

please proceed with the boopening

I suppose I will get back to work.