Top gif: heartbeat in a caterpillar visible before molting
Other gifs: restless caterpillar seeks out a pupation spot (his heartbeat was also visible, though harder to see in the gifs)
They grow so fast!
June 16, 2019
Here is the cocoon of our restless fellow (and his final poops):
Also, he monch (look at his little bum in the lower right corner!).
The slug moths hide their faces so they will hold their leaves with opposable face flaps that look like giant lips. It’s like if you wore a hoodie laced mostly shut and ate by putting food into the narrow opening of the hood.
“Hello There” Sphodromantis gastrica (African mantis) sub-adult male. The girls have been waiting on him to molt for so long. #sphrodromatisgastrica #sphrodromantis #africanmantis #prayingmantis #mantodea #mantis #nature #wildlife #animals #insect #bugs #science #entomology #exotic #pets #aliens #photography #mantismonarch #starwars #ewanmcgregor https://www.instagram.com/p/Byi_CDphWY1/?igshid=16e7rvp50otux
Late spring in central Texas, nice and warm, not quite hot enough to melt your shoes, but hot enough to melt everything in your car.
But it’s not summer until…
the trees start screaming!
I have heard some cicadas farther east of me (a different species than I have), but so far, this year has been quiet. So I feel like I have been visited by the Cicada Queen, who has bestowed upon me a great honor: I saw my first cicada before I heard it. She was hiding in the elm that popped up in my yard!
So beautiful and perfect!!!
Superb Dog-day Cicada
June 3, 2019
IT IS TIME.
I heard them today for the first time all year and has anyone else noticed that their…speed? Cadence? Cicadence? Is faster than previous years? I’m used to reeereeereeereeeeeeeeeee…….. Today they were much more emphatic, like REEEEE…..REEEEEE……REEEEEE….
I also don’t know if the different year-life-cycle cicadas have different patterns. Anyone want to educate me on these lovely summer screamers?
There a many different species of cicada, and they all have different screams! The ones you are hearing may just be a different species than the others you’ve noticed before! Although, they do sometimes have variation in their calls, could be time of year or the weather.
I actually designed this one, though! There weren’t enough cicada shirts out there!!! If anybody wants one, I relaunched it [link to $$buy$$ cicada shirt]. Sorry, I know international shipping is super expensive 🙁
This fat girl is lovely. She is a Halysidota sp. Tiger moth. These moths are rare at my house, so I was happy to have a visit from her!
Their common names include the word “tussock moth” (examples are Sycamore Tussock Moth, and Banded Tussock Moth) even though they are not tussock moths, because their caterpillars have the little tufts of fur (they are mimics!):
Notice the above caterpillar is poofy with a couple little tufts at the end? Actual tussock moths (which can sting you!) look like this:
Above: Unidentified Tussock moth caterpillar from Malawi
Left: Definite Tussock Moth from Village Creek State Park, near Beaumont, TX Right: Southern Tussock Moth from my yard near Austin, TX
These caterpillar are not as all-around poofy, and they also have four tufts on their back near their head (easier to see in the Malawian and Definite caterpillars. The Texan caterpillars are younger, so they don’t have their tufts out on display in full glory like the mature Malawian caterpillar does, but that’s the look our Halysidota baby is going for.
June 1, 2019
Totally not what I was expecting to see today, almost two months ago I saw a White-Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar for the first time and had no idea what he was, I wanted to move him from where he was but I knew the spines on his could have been no bueno for me so I left him be. I don’t remember ever seeing the adult Tussock Moth around since they look so mundane, but I’m sure I have, nature is wack
Ah, yes, of course I need to post what the real adult Tussock Moths look like. For example, here is the adult version of the White-marked Tussock Moth (what the above baby turns into):
A handsome man!
Here is one of my Southern Tussock Moth girls all grown up!
And this is an Euproctis sp. Tussock Moth from Malawi. Some of these moths there were super fluffy.
Notice how all the Tussock Moths are wearing furry boots? Scroll up a bit and check out our Tiger Moth lady’s legs. Clean shaven! Their body shapes are different as well, but granted, it’s hard to tell with her vibrating so much.
Here’s a different Halysidotasp. I had seen before (a little older and some of the scales have been worn off the wings). Wings are longer, not rounded, the legs don’t look like the moth is riding a furry spider, etc. Not a Tussock moth, despite what they want you to think while they’re caterpillars!