Category: lepidoptera

Regular

vampiremasochist:

My larvae are dummy thicc and the clap of their poo falling on plastic keeps alerting the dog

The Polyphemus poo falling sounded like a soothing hailstorm (I had a lot of them)

August 30, 2019

Regular

dis-connectfic:

Encountered a squishy accordion boi that stretched out long when I took a pic while walking home today. @nanonaturalist what is this? D:

Polyphemus moth!

I love them!

August 28, 2019

Regular

mei-unicornio:

Cute! #butterfly #plants #nature #mariposa #lepidóptera

This looks like the same Gulf Fritillary butterflies we get up in North America! They range down into South America, too!

The caterpillars eat leaves from the passionvine. There are lots of varieties of this plant. Here are two in Texas:

Yellow Passionflower

Passiflora “incense” – I grow this vine in my garden and it takes over the entire back yard! The flowers are huge (see the spider in the right of the photo?) and hummingbirds will even come to feed at them.

August 15, 2019

I’m a finalist in a photography contest (???) …

I’m a finalist in a photography contest (???) with these two babes, winners will be in a calendar, and it’s making me think maybe I should make a caterpillar calendar of my own anyway.

Top: Vine Sphinx
Bottom: Tiger moth (unknown species)

August 15, 2019

Regular

glumshoe:

We’ve had a lot of small monarch caterpillars on our milkweed plants this summer, but so far none of them seem to be surviving to pupate. They’re supposed to be gross and poisonous, but I don’t think the birds have gotten the memo yet. I just went out and collected as many as I could find—I count eleven caterpillars and one unhatched egg. We’ll take care of them until they’re ready to pupate, and then we’ll set them out on the porch to emerge as butterflies.

A mother butterfly followed me around from plant to plant, laying eggs on one leaf while I plucked a caterpillar from another. Best wishes, ma’am!

Birds aren’t getting them, wasps are. Their larvae eat caterpillars and grubs. If you watch your garden, you’ll see paper wasps wandering around hunting for them.

August 2, 2019

Regular

bogleech:

enkblogs:

bogleech:

vegannerdgirl:

monotreme-dream:

Bagworm Moth caterpillars collect little twigs and cut them off to construct elaborate tiny log houses to live in (photos: Melvyn Yeo, Nick Bay)

I had to look this up because i thought there was no way these little faerie cabin-building caterpillars were real

Theyre magical

I love every single species of bagworm. They are all wonderful. Yes, even the ones everyone hates as tree-killing pests here in the U.S. Here are some cool bagworm things:

  • In many species, the female never develops wings or in some cases never even develops legs, antennae or a face. She’s just a sausage-shaped egg factory who dies in her bag.
  • Two very different species are among the world’s few carnivorous caterpillars. One preys on snails and uses its bag to wedge into the snail’s shell. The other builds its bag OUT of body parts from the arthropods it eats and the smell attracts even more tasty things.
  • Some species not only have females that remain as “bagworms” but have parthenogenetic subspecies with no males at all; entire populations of caterpillars with no moths.

Do they build them first, and then crawl into them?

Do they have freakishly long arms that extend out from the bottom, allowing them to stack ever-higher?

Or perhaps they build them for each other?

Do they ever tweak the architecture, or rebuild from scratch?

They wrap themselves up in silk, just like when other caterpillars would make a cocoon later. Then as they go along feeding, they attach bits of their leftover food, leaves, twigs etc. to the silk bag. They can reach their whole body out of it when they need to stick something on!

As they molt and grow, they keep adding more to the bag around its open end, so the very tip of the bag is what they started with when they were tiny!

Here’s one where you can obviously see the difference between the “newer additions” to the bag (green leaves), and the more established parts (dried up leaves):

Unfortunately, all the bagworms I collected in my yard ended up being parasitized by braconids! Seems the bag doesn’t protect them so much after all!

July 23, 2019

nanonaturalist: Every time I mow the lawn I e…

nanonaturalist:

Every time I mow the lawn I end up bothering somebody.

White-lined sphinx moth. They feed on nectar through a long proboscis while flying and hover in place like hummingbirds.

March 13, 2017. Been spring here for months already.

This was one of my first sphinx moths! And definitely not the last thing I scared out of the yard while mowing. In fact, while mowing recently, I scared up this poor baby:

image

Gulf Coast Toad. I had to chase the poor thing into the neighbor’s driveway to be able to relocate him somewhere more comfortable (a nice shaded area under my flower bushes with lots of leaves hiding tasty bugs to eat).

Reposted July 14, 2019

bugkeeping: nanonaturalist: bowelflies: nano…

bugkeeping:

nanonaturalist:

bowelflies:

nanonaturalist:

tarantulajelly:

This Fiery Searcher Caterpillar Hunter (Calosoma scrutator) bit the daylights out of me (he was fast, I had to hamfist catching him) and then made me smell like hot diarrhea for the rest of the trail.  I’ve washed my hands five times since being home.  I may never not smell like diarrhea again.  10/10 would touch again.

Time to change your username from tarantulajelly to beetlejuice?

Don’t they leave the best gifts?

July 12, 2019

thank you fro reminding me of the time i got blessed by a tropical millipede

There was that one time I was baptized by an Io moth

I had a Polyphemus moth at an outreach event, and I let her hang out on me because she was so chill, but as it warmed up and the event was ending, she decided she wanted to be free, so she vibrated, peed on my neck (as in, the above), and flew off. Beautiful.

July 12, 2019

once time,

april of this year way back when, i wasn’t aware this species (Fiery Searcher,

Calosoma scrutator) used chemical defenses and my monkey brain said “ooga booga touch that cool shiny bug” and I did. and I happened to have my face very close to it. and it sprayed its Nasty Smelling Chemical Cocktail into my eye

it hurt!

NOOO!!!!!!

That’s worse than me accidentally getting rancid stick insect poop water in my mouth after cleaning their tank (ugh).

I get those kamikaze eye gnats (they specifically fly into your eyeballs) with such frequency that I have to bring saline and an eyewash cup with me when I go hiking/mothing at night. Sometimes I’ll wear my nethat, but when I was in Malawi, the gnats were so small, they could get through the holes in the netting. It was… special.

July 12, 2019

bowelflies: nanonaturalist: tarantulajelly: T…

bowelflies:

nanonaturalist:

tarantulajelly:

This Fiery Searcher Caterpillar Hunter (Calosoma scrutator) bit the daylights out of me (he was fast, I had to hamfist catching him) and then made me smell like hot diarrhea for the rest of the trail.  I’ve washed my hands five times since being home.  I may never not smell like diarrhea again.  10/10 would touch again.

Time to change your username from tarantulajelly to beetlejuice?

Don’t they leave the best gifts?

July 12, 2019

thank you fro reminding me of the time i got blessed by a tropical millipede

There was that one time I was baptized by an Io moth

I had a Polyphemus moth at an outreach event, and I let her hang out on me because she was so chill, but as it warmed up and the event was ending, she decided she wanted to be free, so she vibrated, peed on my neck (as in, the above), and flew off. Beautiful.

July 12, 2019

woofwolfy: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: n…

woofwolfy:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanofishology:

Butterfly House at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. One of the better ones I’ve been in!

Visited the museum for this post December 2016, desperately need to go back (yes, I have been there again since, but still).

Fun fact: when I first started raising butterflies, I looked back to this post to see how they had hung their chrysalids to figure out how in the heck to do it myself. I couldn’t figure it out so I developed my own method. But now that I know what I’m doing, I can tell you: that cord the chrysalids are hanging off is probably silk, and they have probably wrapped the silk mats the caterpillars laid down around the cord. So simple! Either that, or they used a super secret butterfly glue I don’t know about because I’m not in the Butterfly Blood Brotherhood.

Reposting July 9, 2019

@xbainekox Human skin is a great barrier, and it protects is from all sorts of nasty stuff, but other animals are much more sensitive. Superglue contains some extremely toxic organic solvents, which could very quickly absorb through the chrysalis skin and harm the developing butterfly.

There is a TEENY TINY part of the chrysalis, called the cremaster, which is the thick sturdy part that hooks onto the silk pad (it’s the “stem” part). I think this could safely be glued, and if folks are using superglue, they are doing it here. I’d just be so worried I’m screwing up, and the chrysalids I’m hanging do not have well-defined cremasters!

The method I use now works well enough, and nobody is ever in danger.

July 10, 2019

The local butterfly house uses scotch tape! They collect the chrysalids and stick them in high places out of kiddos reach.

That’s basically what I do now!

I pinch the silk mat between a fold of tape, string it on a pipe cleaner, and hang it up in my laundry hamper!

July 10, 2019