Category: caterpillar

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: Went to grab…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

Went to grab some quick food for the Cecropia caterpillars, and the leaflet I randomly picked to feed them had A BABY on it! I have no idea who this is, though with the hairs, I’m guessing a tiger moth of some sort?

Caterpillar season is HERE!!! I’ve got three species going now! Plus the stick insects. Let’s see how overboard I go this year (please not too much 😭). I am NOT planting more milkweed and it appears my plants from last year did not survive (*phew!*)

I love caterpillars but they are soul-draining vampires and I am compelled to serve them beyond my will. Save me.

March 27, 2019

Molting already

They grow so fast

March 29, 2019

Again and again!

Post-molt glamour shots from March 31 (so beautiful!). But of course, baby molted AGAIN two days later!!

Hmmmmm I have no idea who this could be 😉

Tiger moth of some sort, probably Virginian.

April 2, 2019

nanonaturalist: Went to grab some quick food …

nanonaturalist:

Went to grab some quick food for the Cecropia caterpillars, and the leaflet I randomly picked to feed them had A BABY on it! I have no idea who this is, though with the hairs, I’m guessing a tiger moth of some sort?

Caterpillar season is HERE!!! I’ve got three species going now! Plus the stick insects. Let’s see how overboard I go this year (please not too much 😭). I am NOT planting more milkweed and it appears my plants from last year did not survive (*phew!*)

I love caterpillars but they are soul-draining vampires and I am compelled to serve them beyond my will. Save me.

March 27, 2019

Molting already

They grow so fast

March 29, 2019

caterpillar-gifs: Black Swallowtail Butterfly…

caterpillar-gifs:

Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar, obsessed with hygiene

FYI, in case y’all don’t know about the caterpillar gif blog, I have a caterpillar gif blog. Where I post… caterpillar gifs. Here is one of the black swallowtail babies who is… taking a bath instead of stuffing his face and growing asap so I can take pictures without using the microscope???

I am too distracted to figure out how I want to handle x-posting so if you want to for sure see all the caterpillar content, keep an eye over there!

March 27/28, 2019

Went to grab some quick food for the Cecropia …

Went to grab some quick food for the Cecropia caterpillars, and the leaflet I randomly picked to feed them had A BABY on it! I have no idea who this is, though with the hairs, I’m guessing a tiger moth of some sort?

Caterpillar season is HERE!!! I’ve got three species going now! Plus the stick insects. Let’s see how overboard I go this year (please not too much 😭). I am NOT planting more milkweed and it appears my plants from last year did not survive (*phew!*)

I love caterpillars but they are soul-draining vampires and I am compelled to serve them beyond my will. Save me.

March 27, 2019

Regular

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Life Cycle!

Last week (March 18), I spied a Black Swallowtail butterfly leaving me gifts:

I found three eggs in this patch of parsley, and brought it inside. Today, all three eggs hatched!

Compared to the cecropias, these babies are WAY smaller (I forgot how small butterflies started out after all those giant moths!). It usually takes them a day or so to start munching. I hope they grow fast because they are SO tiny and I want to see their cute little faces better!

Stay tuned for more…

March 24, 2019

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: lol whut Over…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

lol whut

Over 2,000 of you weirdos want to look at caterpillar butts and read about me kissing moths and watch them pee on me?

I love you all. Please accept this gift:

May 21, 2018

What the heckin heck you guys 

Where did you all COME FROM????

In celebration of this momentous milestone, please accept this gift from a Northern Hairy Sugar Ant (Camponotus amphidus) from Malawi:

September 7, 2018

lol whut

Amazing! Time for another gift!

Mystery Tiger Moth caterpillar (I have no idea who this turns into, but sooo pretty! soooo fluffff), from Austin, TX

March 18, 2019

Buy a Coffee for NanoNaturalist

Buy a Coffee for NanoNaturalist:

Alright, enough about boning moths for a second, cuz I’m unemployed now and I have a situation. I need a particular software package which costs an amount of money which is generally unwise for newly unemployed people to be spending on … anything. But it’s gotta happen for a presentation in about a week, and it’s gotta happen if I want to keep posting here as I have in the past–if you like essentially any post I’ve made that has photos in it, chances are you have enjoyed my having access to this particular software as much as I have.

I have a ko-fi account. I have not “advertised” it much because that’s just not my style and I generally assume that y’all are just as broke as I am. And I’m not desperate yet, but I have been Unemployed in bold with a capital U before and I know with certainty that I cannot survive 9 months without a job this time around. Because I’ve mapped out my budget for the next 9 months and it’s grim. There is nothing I can do that I haven’t already done in terms of job hunting. 

So what I ask: 

  • If you have enjoyed caterpillar butts and moth indecency and rants about bizarre things that you wouldn’t think humans would have opinions about, and if you have $3 to spare, please considering contributing to the cause of ensuring I can continue to raise caterpillars to take pictures of/post their butts and then perv on them doing it while taking very strong stances on what species of bird the bird seed companies put on their packaging (HOUSE SPARROWS?!?!?!!?!!?!?). 
  • If you have enjoyed all these things but do not have the $3 to spare, then please tell the next bug you see that they are beautiful/they are so fat/”What a handsome man!” 
  • If you think I’m stupid and my blog sucks (*gasp!*), then this is me mooning you:

March 1, 2019

Cute Fluffbutts Getting Me in Trouble, Don’t S…

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time (October 2017), I was volunteering at the intermediate school for our Junior Naturalist After-School program. We all went outside and the kids got to run around and explore the school yard around the classroom we met in. One of the kids dug around in a peppervine bush a bit, and called our attention to these things:

image
image

Look at them, aren’t they perfect???

But what are they? all eyes turn to me Uhhhh well they’re caterpillars! But what do they turn into? Uhhhh probably a moth??? They don’t really care, they’re outside running around having fun (and staring at caterpillars go nuts on this peppervine bush I mean seriously guys). Meanwhile, I pull out the iNaturalist app, it tells me it’s probably the Grapeleaf Skeletonizer moth, and I tell the kids and show them a picture of the adult moth and they LOSE THEIR MINDS because check it out: 

image

Above photo by Monica Krancevic, from iNaturalist [link]

Yes, friends, that is A MOTH. And the caterpillars look like fuzzy stripey sluggy things.

Except… Time passed. The horde of caterpillars disappears (though somehow the peppervine didn’t). Spring comes. And the last day of our program (March 2018), the side of our classroom is covered in moths. But… they’re not covered in Grapeleaf Skeletonizer moths. The moth in the photo above is a Grapeleaf Skeletonizer (Harrisina americana). Our moths looked like:

image

There is a closely related moth to the Grapeleaf Skeletonizer that doesn’t have the little red scarf. It’s called Harrisina coracina. That’s right, it’s one of the bugs that doesn’t even get a common name. Interesting! I went to the internet, and looked up the caterpillars of this moth to see if they were maybe lookalikes with the Grapeleaf Skeletonizer. And! There were no photos of the caterpillars anywhere. It was enough to make me think that yes, in fact, they must be lookalikes.

Blast forward a few months to the summer (July 2018). I am dealing with VINE SPHINX MOTH DRAMA. They are eating possum grape like NO TOMORROW. I have to CLIMB A LADDER INTO A TREE AT 2 AM TO GET GRAPE VINES FOR THEM TO EAT. It’s a situation. I managed to find some small vines in the back corners of my yard, and I trimmed a bit of it off. And guess who was there?

image

Well, hey there, strangers! I know EXACTLY who y’all are, and y’all ain’t skeletonizing those grapeleaves! And better yet, I’ve documented two hostplants, when bugguide’s best guess is “I think grape leaves?” [link]

Of course I raised them.

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So precious, so sweet. “LOOK MA, I’M PUPATING!”

And in August, guess who flew out? Of course it was H. coracina

image

Because I have been so stressed out/busy/all of the above, I’m just now finishing up my August uploads to iNat. So I only uploaded the adult photo in the last day or so. 

In many cases, there are really only two reasons insects are studied: money (hobbies) and money (agriculture). The first reason is why you can find basically anything you could ever want to know about the life cycles of the big flashy moths and butterflies, and the second reason is why we know the basics about moths that can cause huge devastating damage to plants and crops. But oh boy there are a lot of moths out there and there just isn’t enough time and money to study them all. So there are some gaps, even for species that can have notable effects on crops (I mean, these things can destroy grapevines, don’t get me wrong).

So when I started posting the caterpillars and claiming that they were a species that has a gap in the scientific literature based on rearing the adult, one person bookmarked my iNat observation of my cutie little possum vine eating fuzzbutts after asking me how I knew the species. And when I finally posted the adult photo, this guy was very excited and needs to double check with the guy who wrote the caterpillar ID book, but essentially asked me to rear them again, going for complete life cycle (with eggs), and sending him the adults so he can confirm for 100% sure that my species ID is correct, and he’ll co-author the paper with me.

lol

I looked him up, guy is legit [link to his California Dept of Food & Agriculture bio page]


So uh, yeah. Unemployment looming, but I have three talks, an outreach event, research for a legit entomology paper (?!), and I’m planning to start a non-profit (for reals). At least I won’t be bored?

Will post about the public talks + outreach event separately, but if you’re in Austin, TX, come to the Texas Memorial Museum on UT Campus Saturday January 26!! Free Admission for Texas Wildlife Day! Me and a bunch of nerds will have fun activities relating to wildlife!

January 2, 2019

nanofishology:Zilker Botanical Gardens, Austin…

nanofishology:

Zilker Botanical Gardens, Austin TX

Oh hey, that last photo is a Gulf Fritillary caterpillar and I had no idea I’d ever seen one before. Huh!

Original post from October 2016, reblogged December 16, 2018

caterpillar-gifs: Tersa Sphinx Moth caterpill…

caterpillar-gifs:

Tersa Sphinx Moth caterpillar

New baby! Another gift, already spinning a leaf cocoon!

December 15, 2018