Category: gif

Regular

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

Incoming: A “different” kind of caterpillar!

I am overjoyed and elated to announce these beautiful eggs, which I found in some elderberry leaves I was about to feed the cecropias (elderberry is popular!)

And yes, I said in the leaves. Look closer:

Here you can see each egg underneath a thin membrane of leaf tissue. What kind of insect lays its eggs inside the leaves? Lots of them, but one, in particular, has been hanging out on the elderberry plant for over a week straight, loving life and drinking elderberry nectar whenever she wants:

It wasn’t until I uploaded photos to iNat that I realized she could have been the mother, since I thought she was a wasp I didn’t recognize. I wasn’t too far off: she is a hymenopteran, like wasps, but she is a SAWFLY. My friends over on iNat have identified her as being in genus Macrophya, and three species in Texas feed on elderberry. So I was right about my hunch that the eggs were sawfly eggs, even if I didn’t realize their mom was still hanging out in my elderberry bush!

The photos above were from Saturday. On Sunday, guess what?

An eye!!!

I’ve talked about sawfly larvae before, and how they look very similar to caterpillars (they are often confused). I’ve attempted to rear them before (a different species) when I had an infestation on a vine in my yard, but I’ve never found eggs before. Exciting! I just need to make sure they don’t destroy my elderberry bush, the cecropias have dibs!

March 31/April 1, 2019

The Hatchening

Oh! Where is the baby?!

Here’s a nibble, he can’t be far. Let’s turn over the leaf. Maybe he’s hiding.

!!!!!!!!!! A baby!!!!!!

He very much wanted to be hiding, so he was very crawly when I was looking at him. See how tiny??!

He’s making a grand escape!

I went to get some fresh leaves for him, and figured I may as well bring in some of his siblings (I know his mom left a ton of eggs back there). I stopped myself at ten.

Eeeeeeeeee!!!!

April 2, 2019

It’s Raining Sawflies

So, every time I get elderberry for the cecropias, I end up finding a handful more sawfly eggs. I have at least 20 now, and they are all starting to hatch! The babies prefer to stay curled up in a little spiral under the leaves, but as soon as I pick them up for photoshoots, they uncurl and run away. The first baby is HUGE now!

April 4/5, 2019

Regular

nanonaturalist:

Incoming: A “different” kind of caterpillar!

I am overjoyed and elated to announce these beautiful eggs, which I found in some elderberry leaves I was about to feed the cecropias (elderberry is popular!)

And yes, I said in the leaves. Look closer:

Here you can see each egg underneath a thin membrane of leaf tissue. What kind of insect lays its eggs inside the leaves? Lots of them, but one, in particular, has been hanging out on the elderberry plant for over a week straight, loving life and drinking elderberry nectar whenever she wants:

It wasn’t until I uploaded photos to iNat that I realized she could have been the mother, since I thought she was a wasp I didn’t recognize. I wasn’t too far off: she is a hymenopteran, like wasps, but she is a SAWFLY. My friends over on iNat have identified her as being in genus Macrophya, and three species in Texas feed on elderberry. So I was right about my hunch that the eggs were sawfly eggs, even if I didn’t realize their mom was still hanging out in my elderberry bush!

The photos above were from Saturday. On Sunday, guess what?

An eye!!!

I’ve talked about sawfly larvae before, and how they look very similar to caterpillars (they are often confused). I’ve attempted to rear them before (a different species) when I had an infestation on a vine in my yard, but I’ve never found eggs before. Exciting! I just need to make sure they don’t destroy my elderberry bush, the cecropias have dibs!

March 31/April 1, 2019

The Hatchening

Oh! Where is the baby?!

Here’s a nibble, he can’t be far. Let’s turn over the leaf. Maybe he’s hiding.

!!!!!!!!!! A baby!!!!!!

He very much wanted to be hiding, so he was very crawly when I was looking at him. See how tiny??!

He’s making a grand escape!

I went to get some fresh leaves for him, and figured I may as well bring in some of his siblings (I know his mom left a ton of eggs back there). I stopped myself at ten.

Eeeeeeeeee!!!!

April 2, 2019

Bold Jumper lady was peeping in my window yest…

Bold Jumper lady was peeping in my window yesterday.

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

Bugfingers White moth = saltmarsh moth Brown m…

Bugfingers

White moth = saltmarsh moth
Brown moth = walnut sphinx (remember the screaming caterpillar?)
Green stink bug
Brown stink bug

I wanted a moth on every finger, but couldn’t find enough. So I settled for bugs. But the green stinker wouldn’t cooperate, walked over the sphinx’s face, made him pee all over me, then walked over the saltmarsh moth’s face, peed on me himself, then flew off. Rude!

March 25, 2019

Look at this little baby!!!!! This is another …

Look at this little baby!!!!! This is another beetle grub, but you may notice this one is a bit different from the scarab grub I posted before (which has LEGS!). This baby looks like he’s swaddled up and wiggles around just as helplessly as if he was—this combination legless-but-with-a-distinct-head grub belongs to… a WEEVIL!!!

This is my first weevil grub! Exciting! I put him back somewhere safe, don’t worry.

March 20, 2019

caterpillar-gifs: Newborn Cecropia Moth cater…

caterpillar-gifs:

Newborn Cecropia Moth caterpillars.

Guess who hatched today?

These turds. The Cecropia babs!!!

I kept more eggs than I should have (*gulp*) and I have given them the host plants I can easily offer: elm (lots of saplings popped up in my yard, yay, free trees!) and elderberry (tiny baby bush, less than a year old, in my garden). I really hope they at least accept the elm because I do not have enough elderberry for 50 Cecropia caterpillars.

So far, they have only wandered around their enclosure trying to escape, no nibbles on the plants yet. I will keep my fingers crossed!

March 17, 2019

I was pulling weeds in my yard in the middle o…

I was pulling weeds in my yard in the middle of the night, like ya do, and I found A BABY curled around the roots of a common hedge parsley plant!!! I think I woke him up!!

I put the weed back when I was done taking the baby’s picture.

Also… I’m starting to wonder if that weird brown spot at the end of these scarab grubs is… uh… where they hold their poop, and they just get free from it when they molt. Because this one looks a little full… Maybe I should look that up. Beetle larvae do some weird stuff with their poops sometimes…

March 12, 2019

nanonaturalist: It’s a boy!!! I still have a…

nanonaturalist:

It’s a boy!!!

I still have another Cecropia moth cocoon. We’ll see if he gets a girlfriend (they’re probably siblings…)

February 26, 2019

She’s here and she’s beautiful!

I love her!!!! If you have not had the honor of meeting a Cecropia moth, they do this little gryration dance… constantly.

Ugh yes perfect

February 27, 2019

nanonaturalist: I heard scratching inside the…

nanonaturalist:

I heard scratching inside the Polyphemus cocoons (you remember my fat green sausages?!), and I took a peek.

No moths trapped inside. Still troublemakers, just in pupa form. They should be adults any day now!

February 26, 2019

They yearned for freedom!

@burningtrashnightmare asked about cutting the cocoons open! The cocoons keep them safe from predators and the environment. They made these cocoons in … November? December? It was months ago, in any case. The cocoons are semi-waterproof, but still breatheable, are sturdy, everything they need to stay protected in the wild.

In my house, however, they don’t need to worry about baking in the sun, drowning in the rain, or getting attacked by parasites. I have had “naked” pupae sitting out for months, but as long as they don’t dry out (air conditioning is not a moth’s best friend!), they are fine! There might be some issues with getting out of the pupa without the end anchored in the cocoon, but we’ll see!

February 27, 2019