Category: finger for scale

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

Mystery Tussock Moth caterpillar livepost continues! Unsettling egg raft and hatching photos over here (trypophobia warning!)[link] 

The babes are still pretty small, but oh boy they are HUNGRY. Their poops changed color from yellow to the standard green color. They are escape artists and I have to continually put them back into their habitat when I’m feeding them (I use a paintbrush to move them, very convenient!), and there are SO MANY of them. 

September 8, 2018

They are still so tiny but SO FURRY!! Look at all that FLUFF!! These babes are a pain in the butt and are constantly trying to escape. I can’t wait for them to get bigger and fluffier.

September 9, 2018

First Molt Underway

Prepare for

The Fluffening

Their head capsule includes the earmuff dongles I’m d y i n g

September 10, 2018

First Molt Complete

Still no idea who they are!

I did an enclosure change today. How do you move hoardes of tiny caterpillars, you ask?

See related video, Painting by Caterpillar: Tussock moth

September 11, 2018

They’re perfect

Starting to look a little more tussocky! Still very small.

September 12, 2018

I have been a bad caterpillar liveposter, BUT these things have molted a second time and they are still almost impossible to see without a microscope.

If anything, the fluffier they get, the harder they are to see!

These are from last night :X

September 15, 2018

They are taking forever and I’m impatient.

This one hadn’t moved in three days or so. Turns out he was just molting??? (That’s his old skin next to him)

September 25, 2018

I guess they’re a little bigger?

image
image
image

Also, those hairs?

image

Don’t touch! The fluffy looking hairs have a strange texture, and they may be the irritating hairs that can cause allergic reactions. I really need to read up on stinging caterpillar anatomy!

October 2, 2018

Are you ready?

I love them 😭

October 11, 2018

I think we have an ID!

Looks like a Yellow-banded Tussock Moth! Still need to see the adults to know for sure, but these babs match the photo in the caterpillar guide perfectly!

October 15, 2018

Large and terrifying

Very cute, but wow those hairs all look like trouble!

October 20, 2018

Punk Hairstyles for the Distinguished Caterpillar

Arching his back… almost like he’s trying to maximize his chances of stinging somebody.

I can’t believe how OLD they are! They just keep growing and molting. I don’t know how big they get, but I believe they still have aways to go.

October 24, 2018

An update!

image
image
image

THIS FACE. THIS TUM.

image

Cocoon time!

image

Oh! Who is this?!?

image

Mystery solved! This is a Southern Tussock Moth!! Others in my butterfly/moth group thought it was a different species based on the caterpillar (as did I!), which is exactly why I raise caterpillars! When I found the eggs, I could not find any documentation relating moth species to egg or caterpillar. And now I have the egg, the caterpillars at every size, the host plant, the cocoon/pupa, and the adult moth!

Science is awesome, and citizen science is even awesomer. I’m not a “real” entomologist. Anybody with the time and energy can do this (and when I have the time and energy, I write up a how to guide, I promise!)

Anyway, let’s love on this bab a bit since he can’t sting me now!

image
image

Awwwwwwwww

Adult emerged December 9, 2018, other photos from earlier (oops).

Testing this reblog… having issues with things getting flagged sigh. Please let me know if you can see my beautiful grown baby.

@midnight-mod submitted:

@midnight-mod submitted:

Hey! Could I get some help IDing these little fellas? My mom found them in a lake in Texas, they’re about 5-6cm long. She’s a flyfisherman so she’s always really excited about learning about aquatic larvae in areas she fishes! I’ve been digging through lists and guides of aquatic invertebrates/larvae and haven’t found anything quite like them, care to help me out?


These fat babies are water scavenger beetles. I’ve never been blessed with seeing them in person, but I have seen the adults. They can be small, but they can also get very large! Here are a couple from Austin:

Tropisternus sp.

Hydrophilus ovatus 

These were both seen in March 2018. Sorry it took me SO LONG to answer you life is stressful!

December 1, 2018

Right so, I’m used to finding random bugs in m…

Right so, I’m used to finding random bugs in my house at this point, but when I saw my cat paying a little *too much* attention to to something on the floor, and it was… a sweat bee… I didn’t even know what to do??? Like, how did you get in the house, little friend? What were you looking for? How can I best assist you in your endeavors? I put her on a potted basil leaf and she had flown off when I checked on her again. I hope she found whatever it was she was looking for and I hope it wasn’t inside a cat.

Seen November 15 / Posted Nov 18, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturali…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS??

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

Starting to look like somebody!

Hmmmm these look like armyworms…..

They are growing VERY fast! Shouldn’t be long before I know for sure.

October 14, 2018

Yup, they’re armyworms! One of the key giveaways (besides that they… look… like armyworms), is the thing they do where you get your hand anywhere near them, and they DROP! and curl up into The Forbidden Spiral, safely hidden in piles of leaves and grass.

Still pretty small, but actually identifiable now. Next step: which armyworm?

October 24, 2018

caterpillar-gifs:

caterpillar-gifs:

Imperial Moth caterpillar

Check out this squishy baby I met today! Gif above, non-gifs below:

This is an Imperial Moth caterpillar! They grow up into these:

Beautiful!

The caterpillars were brought in for show and tell at the Austin Butterfly Forum meeting tonight. So happy I got to meet them! The adult stopped by my house for a visit a month or so ago.

October 22, 2018

Look at this mushroom

Thanks

October 19, 2018

nanonaturalist: In celebration of my HAVING I…

nanonaturalist:

In celebration of my HAVING INTERNET AT HOME, allow me to share one of my new babies.

This is a Walnut Sphinx caterpillar. They scream when you touch them. It’s to scare off birds. It works on humans too.

October 18, 2018

More Walnut Sphinx!

The video was from the day he starting digging his pupation hole, so you can’t see his cute little face. Here he is before he turned into a mud-covered piggy:

Triangle face!

A little dirty…

Breaded and ready to cook! (In his pupa)

The adults are BEAUTIFUL little sphinxes:

October 18, 2018

In celebration of my HAVING INTERNET AT HOME, …

In celebration of my HAVING INTERNET AT HOME, allow me to share one of my new babies.

This is a Walnut Sphinx caterpillar. They scream when you touch them. It’s to scare off birds. It works on humans too.

October 18, 2018

nanonaturalist: worm-suggestion: Photogenic… …

nanonaturalist:

worm-suggestion:

Photogenic… Charming little fellows, to be sure…

Now that I checked scorpionfly off my wishlist, next step: SNAKEFLY!

October 12, 2018

@quickwitter I don’t know about the bugs of Costa Rica (yet!), but Dobsonflies and snakeflies are a bit different

Snakeflies are tiny, with a long skinny neck

Dobsonflies:

These are LARGE!! They do look similar in many respects. Dobsonflies are in order Megaloptera with fishflies, and I think those can look closer to snakeflies.

All around, I would highly recommend both 😂

October 12, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturali…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

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

Important

Big n’ fat

September 25, 2018

Absolute Units

These were taken over the course of the past few days (time to retag these as “caterpillar laterposts”?), but as you can see, they are now LORGE. The last photo is a big fat baby molting again to become bigger and fatter.

On Monday, I’m bringing them to a school, where a class of VERY lucky 1st graders gets to MEET THEM and WATCH THEM POOP. Speaking of which, stay tuned because I have the action-gif of the poopening photo third from the bottom.

September 29, 2018

Polyphemus caterpillars: unanimously approved by 25 six-year-old humans

image
image
image

Yesterday, I brought four of the fatties to Cedar Creek Elementary school where they got to meet a class of 1st graders who are learning about insects. One of them was molting! One of them pooped, they were fat and eating and the kids LOVED them. They kept asking: “Are these REAL?!” You bet!!

I also brought the microscope and showed them some caterpillar faces! Photos above are from yesterday.

And today?

image
image
image

They grow. Larger and larger!

October 2, 2018

*heavy breathing*

October 3, 2018

Poopin’

October 4, 2018

I’m in love

October 4, 2018 (pm)

Faterpillar Apocalypse

October 6, 2018

How are they not making cocoons yet?!

LOOK HOW FAT

LOOK

October 8, 2018

STOP THEM

Like my new mustache?

October 8/9, 2018

Squeeze gently to check for ripeness.

Ah, yes. Almost ready.

(Where are my cocoons already?!)

October 9, 2018