Category: larva

nanonaturalist:

Oak galls in Travis Audubon’s Baker Sanctuary outside Austin, March 18, 2017. Galls are a new thing for me: they are growths composed of plant matter that grow around a larva, typically of a gall wasp. They do not harm the plant, and if you don’t know any better you would think they are dried berries or seeds.

This was my first time seeing fresh ones–before I had only seen the brown dried up ones the wasps had already emerged from (several are pictured above, look for the exit hole). The green galls seemed to be only on the saplings. I collected a couple to dissect at home (didn’t bring my knife!).

Turns out each gall has an individual wasp. The middle of the ball has a suspended encasement for the larva. You can see where the larva is in the photo of the dissected green gall–the larva is on the side I’m pointing to with a needle. I pulled out my trusty iPhone microscope, and amazingly was able to get (very shaky) video of the larva MOVING. Creeped me the hell out when I saw it.

Fun fact: when I first saw the wasp larva moving in the microscope, I actually screamed 👍

Amphibolips sp. – Wasp that produces galls on oak trees

Reposted July 14, 2019

mossworm:

Antlion larvae are well-known predators that inspire countless movie / video game monsters but then their adult form is just a damselfly with anxiety

This is funny cuz it’s true

VICIOUS HUNTER!

JAWS OF TERROR!

pppbbbbtttttttttt

bbbbttttthhhhhhhhhhbbppppttttttt

although, to be fair…

BUTT SCOOT OF … uh… um… 

funny thing about the ferocious larvae, they can only move backwards. And in little short scoots. The second you dig them out of their little funnel, they freak out and just want to bury themselves, They are only powerful when they remain unseen.

Poetic?

Note: very few species actually make the funnels! But the ones that make the funnels, OH BOY DO THEY MAKE FUNNELS!

July 11, 2019

nanonaturalist:

caterpillar-gifs:

Euclea incisa slug moth caterpillars

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

PS

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.

June 16, 2019

caterpillar-gifs:

Euclea incisa slug moth caterpillars

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

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

caterpillar-gifs:

Ruddy Dagger Moth caterpillar, extra twitchy

I didn’t realize until I came back inside and looked over the photos, but twitchy baby was molting!

I think this is the first time I’ve found one of these caterpillars in my yard! Nice!

June 3, 2019

I couldn’t help myself. The next night I went back.

I adopted the baby (can you find his sister in the photo? She’s camouflaged!)

Since I don’t know how these moths pupate, I tried to look it up. Note keyword “tried.” The closest I got was a note about another species digging a burrow in the cedar siding on a house and making a cocoon there. Some moths prefer to pupate underground, and some of the furry moths are content to make cocoons wherever. So I gave the baby options!

This is the enclosure set-up I have. It’s an aquarium on its side with fine-weave mesh fabric held in place over the opening with a tight elastic loop. Very inexpensive! Paper towel on the bottom. Small critter carrier with peat moss inside, and the water-filled pill bottle (topped with press-n-seal) holding the hackberry branch is in there so he could climb down and burrow.

Behind the pill bottle in the dirt-filled critter carrier is a small piece of pine bark. It’s not really visible. In case the baby goes wandering, or it’s not big enough, I put a much larger piece of pine bark next to the carrier.

I hope he likes it!

June 5, 2019

NAUGHTY

I was about to leave for a pool party and I saw this. Wait a minute…

The baby escaped (squeezed under the elastic band holding the fabric on the tank), got covered in spider webs with the spider still attached, and was wandering around the ceiling in the bug room.

Look at the color change of his hair though! He must have molted!

I put the baby BACK in the enclocure, sealed the fabric on with tape, and when I got back home, he was frantically wandering around his piece of bark. I might pull off another chunk for him. They get restless when they are about to pupate.

He really doesn’t look anything like he did before, I hope he’s okay. I also will be totally unsurprised if I look in the tank more closely and see two caterpillars inside.

June 8, 2019

Important update

What’s this? Sawdust?

It’s official: Ruddy Dagger moths make wood pulp cocoons 👍

June 8, 2019

Turning me into a Liar

The cocoon is a mix of hair and wood pulp + a leaf for spice

I don’t know why the leaf was brought into this, possibly for cover while the baby was busy with excavations?

June 9, 2019

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

caterpillar-gifs:

Ruddy Dagger Moth caterpillar, extra twitchy

I didn’t realize until I came back inside and looked over the photos, but twitchy baby was molting!

I think this is the first time I’ve found one of these caterpillars in my yard! Nice!

June 3, 2019

I couldn’t help myself. The next night I went back.

I adopted the baby (can you find his sister in the photo? She’s camouflaged!)

Since I don’t know how these moths pupate, I tried to look it up. Note keyword “tried.” The closest I got was a note about another species digging a burrow in the cedar siding on a house and making a cocoon there. Some moths prefer to pupate underground, and some of the furry moths are content to make cocoons wherever. So I gave the baby options!

This is the enclosure set-up I have. It’s an aquarium on its side with fine-weave mesh fabric held in place over the opening with a tight elastic loop. Very inexpensive! Paper towel on the bottom. Small critter carrier with peat moss inside, and the water-filled pill bottle (topped with press-n-seal) holding the hackberry branch is in there so he could climb down and burrow.

Behind the pill bottle in the dirt-filled critter carrier is a small piece of pine bark. It’s not really visible. In case the baby goes wandering, or it’s not big enough, I put a much larger piece of pine bark next to the carrier.

I hope he likes it!

June 5, 2019

NAUGHTY

I was about to leave for a pool party and I saw this. Wait a minute…

The baby escaped (squeezed under the elastic band holding the fabric on the tank), got covered in spider webs with the spider still attached, and was wandering around the ceiling in the bug room.

Look at the color change of his hair though! He must have molted!

I put the baby BACK in the enclocure, sealed the fabric on with tape, and when I got back home, he was frantically wandering around his piece of bark. I might pull off another chunk for him. They get restless when they are about to pupate.

He really doesn’t look anything like he did before, I hope he’s okay. I also will be totally unsurprised if I look in the tank more closely and see two caterpillars inside.

June 8, 2019

Important update

What’s this? Sawdust?

It’s official: Ruddy Dagger moths make wood pulp cocoons 👍

June 8, 2019

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

caterpillar-gifs:

Ruddy Dagger Moth caterpillar, extra twitchy

I didn’t realize until I came back inside and looked over the photos, but twitchy baby was molting!

I think this is the first time I’ve found one of these caterpillars in my yard! Nice!

June 3, 2019

I couldn’t help myself. The next night I went back.

I adopted the baby (can you find his sister in the photo? She’s camouflaged!)

Since I don’t know how these moths pupate, I tried to look it up. Note keyword “tried.” The closest I got was a note about another species digging a burrow in the cedar siding on a house and making a cocoon there. Some moths prefer to pupate underground, and some of the furry moths are content to make cocoons wherever. So I gave the baby options!

This is the enclosure set-up I have. It’s an aquarium on its side with fine-weave mesh fabric held in place over the opening with a tight elastic loop. Very inexpensive! Paper towel on the bottom. Small critter carrier with peat moss inside, and the water-filled pill bottle (topped with press-n-seal) holding the hackberry branch is in there so he could climb down and burrow.

Behind the pill bottle in the dirt-filled critter carrier is a small piece of pine bark. It’s not really visible. In case the baby goes wandering, or it’s not big enough, I put a much larger piece of pine bark next to the carrier.

I hope he likes it!

June 5, 2019

NAUGHTY

I was about to leave for a pool party and I saw this. Wait a minute…

The baby escaped (squeezed under the elastic band holding the fabric on the tank), got covered in spider webs with the spider still attached, and was wandering around the ceiling in the bug room.

Look at the color change of his hair though! He must have molted!

I put the baby BACK in the enclocure, sealed the fabric on with tape, and when I got back home, he was frantically wandering around his piece of bark. I might pull off another chunk for him. They get restless when they are about to pupate.

He really doesn’t look anything like he did before, I hope he’s okay. I also will be totally unsurprised if I look in the tank more closely and see two caterpillars inside.

June 8, 2019

nanonaturalist:

caterpillar-gifs:

Ruddy Dagger Moth caterpillar, extra twitchy

I didn’t realize until I came back inside and looked over the photos, but twitchy baby was molting!

I think this is the first time I’ve found one of these caterpillars in my yard! Nice!

June 3, 2019

I couldn’t help myself. The next night I went back.

I adopted the baby (can you find his sister in the photo? She’s camouflaged!)

Since I don’t know how these moths pupate, I tried to look it up. Note keyword “tried.” The closest I got was a note about another species digging a burrow in the cedar siding on a house and making a cocoon there. Some moths prefer to pupate underground, and some of the furry moths are content to make cocoons wherever. So I gave the baby options!

This is the enclosure set-up I have. It’s an aquarium on its side with fine-weave mesh fabric held in place over the opening with a tight elastic loop. Very inexpensive! Paper towel on the bottom. Small critter carrier with peat moss inside, and the water-filled pill bottle (topped with press-n-seal) holding the hackberry branch is in there so he could climb down and burrow.

Behind the pill bottle in the dirt-filled critter carrier is a small piece of pine bark. It’s not really visible. In case the baby goes wandering, or it’s not big enough, I put a much larger piece of pine bark next to the carrier.

I hope he likes it!

June 5, 2019

caterpillar-gifs:

Ruddy Dagger Moth caterpillar, extra twitchy

I didn’t realize until I came back inside and looked over the photos, but twitchy baby was molting!

I think this is the first time I’ve found one of these caterpillars in my yard! Nice!

June 3, 2019

caterpillar-gifs:

Carolina Sphinx caterpillar (AKA Tobacco Hornworm) doing a robot dance on some fancypants heirloom tomatoes

Babe I met in a garden yesterday!

May 31, 2019