Category: life cycle

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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

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

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

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

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

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

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

@mywildbackyardyt submitted:

@mywildbackyardyt submitted:

The Wheel Bug, Arilus cristatus, is one of the largest terrestrial true bugs (Hemiptera) in North America. Come with as I explore the woods searching for one of these awesome giants.


This is an excellent video. First off, wheel bugs are awesome. For a while, all I could find were the nymphs, the adults eluded me (but not for long!). The nymphs are beautiful, but lack the “wheel,” instead you have to look for a powdery-blue bug with red accents (also, they’re huge):

Second off, I love the comparison with the leaf-footed bug. The one in the video is an older Leptoglossus sp. nymph. Interestingly, the younger nymphs are very similar to Zelus spp. assassin bug nymphs:

Leaf-footed bug nymphs are on the top (they are gregarious, meaning they tend to stick in large groups), and the assassin bug nymphs are on the bottom–these are solitary, because they’ll eat each other if they stick together. 

And note, I do have photos where I’m “holding” assassin bugs, like above, but I want to emphasize that I have never picked up an assassin bug, they have always walked onto me. As long as they don’t feel threatened, they are unlikely to try biting you (I think), but be careful if you are going to handle these things! They are true bugs, closely related to the aptly named stink bugs–and like the stinks, they have a scent gland that they will emit a strongly-scented chemical from if they feel threatened. Chances are, a wheel bug will let you know if you’re getting a little too close.

Thanks for sharing your video!

September 11, 2018

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturalis…

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

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: Ready for ano…

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

hatshepsut9: nanonaturalist: tumblunni: nan…

hatshepsut9:

nanonaturalist:

tumblunni:

nanonaturalist:

Some of my io moths spun their cocoons a little too thick and have trouble emerging. Yesterday morning, I had to cut a poor moth out of his cocoon, and his wings were shriveled and he had lost most of his hair from rubbing against the cocoon.

So last night, when I heard scratching coming from another cocoon, I got involved right away. Amazing how fast they climb out after there’s an entrance! His wings were nice and fully expanded within ten minutes.

Then I went through and cut holes in every cocoon so I didn’t have any more stuck babies.

August 22, 2017

Oh gosh thats so good that you helped them out! I’m glad that people rearing moths can help them have such a higher rate of survival. You’re like a guardian angel!

Awwww thanks! Sometimes I kiss them before I set them free, even if they’re kinda stinky.

This is adorable but also hilarious that these dorks have evolved such a counterproductive behavior (especially one that would take them out of the gene pool before they could reproduce?) Like great job on the cocoon bro but you know you have to be able to get out later…?

“I know I can break out of this, I’m at the caterpillar gym 5 times a day”
“Dude you know your sick abs aren’t going to survive metamorphosis”
“Whatever nerd”

I recently learned that this is all my fault. It’s not that they spin their cocoons too tight, it’s that they got too dehydrated to excrete their silk-dissolving enzyme spit and got stuck. Normally, this isn’t a problem in the wild. But in an air-conditioned (aka dry) house, a responsible mothmom should regularly spray the cocoons with water. OOPS. But they, cutting the cocoons worked before I knew any better!

September 9, 2018

TERSA SPHINX!!!

@pots-and-pancakes submitted:

yo do you happen to know who this funky little fuzz dude is?

(found in wilmington, nc)


TERSA SPHINX!!!

These beauties are unmistakable. 

Also, check out their pupae

Are those even real????? (You bet!) 

A+ High Quality Moth, and the first sphinx moth I ever met! Thanks for sharing!

September 8, 2018

nanonaturalist: Ready for another caterpillar …

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