Category: mothblr

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturali…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

I had an “assignment” from an entomologist at the California Department of Agriculture to rear a particular species of slug moth (Euclea incisa, not present in California so he can’t do it himself) and document variations in caterpillars from different broods. No problem! I said.

He probably didn’t expect embryonic development updates.

The eggs of this species are completely transparent and flat, so checking in was easy and SO COOL.

Anyways these babes are one of the stinging slug caterpillars, and they don’t have prolegs (?!), check out that last gif. Mom of these ones is in the last photo. They are super tiny, microscope shots are magnified 50x.

Said Californian entomologist is a Good Dude and offered to help me write up the paper without author credit on the babes. I can’t get an entomology job without an entomology degree, but I wonder how many single-author papers I can publish to substitute for one (probably none lol).

May 17, 2019

Spiny slug baby updates

The purpose of this “experiment” is to see if there are differences in how the caterpillars look between different batches of eggs, but I’m going to go insane keeping track of that here AND on iNat, so here are a bunch of unlabeled random slug babies! Microscope shots are all magnified 20x in this batch.

Arranged from youngest to oldest. They get spinier and stingier as they grow!

Jellypillar!!!!

Look! You can see them without the microscope now!!! And I am totally raising them in a parmesan container, they are too small to keep in anything else.

At their largest, they are about the size of a jelly bean. A… spiny jelly bean. Do not eat.

May 18, 2018

Spiny Slug Jellypillar Update

He monch

Wheeeeeee!

Save me

It’s warm enough in my house that I am constantly fighting against mold in their little containers, but if they are molting I can’t move them off a moldy leaf. It’s a situation. I upgraded the big batch of them to a salad bin (formerly in a parmesan container). The rest of the babies are in sauce cups.

Wecome to my salad bar!

May 26, 2019

The worst salad? Or…

the best salad?

They’re so cute save me how are there so many where did they come from

This isn’t even all of them

June 10, 2019

Some updates!

COCOONS EVERYWHERE

also

@thedaeyoung holy carp yes they do

Last night I was up too late doing emergency caterpillar feeding. I need to switch their enclosure over but I don’t have a clean one and I can’t eat the salad I bought fast enough to move them into that container, and there’s a lot of mold growing at the bottom of this one. I was worried about cocoons getting moldy, feeding leaves to caterpillars, and I accidentally bumped a baby with my finger.

OUCH!

The sting was worse than an io moth caterpillar sting! It wasn’t a very hard bump though, I’m sure a proper sting would be much more painful. Very impressive!

June 18, 2019

Regular

thebluehue22:

allcreaturessmall:

We had tomato plants this year.

Operative word had.

Don’t worry, we didn’t kill them, we put them back on the doomed plants after snapping a photo. They completely stripped two large tomato plants in two days. Honestly kinda impressive.

@nanonaturalist

I love them *kisses the babies*

Reminds me of a situation a lady in my butterfly group had:

image
image

June 17, 2019

911 HELP PLEASE (bug related!)

bowelflies:

avariea:

SO i just saved a imperial moth from the middle of a 4 lane road. I brought her home to put her behind my house when i realized that she was ACTIVELY LAYING DOZENS OF EGGS!!! 

I would love to take care of these little eggs as a way to teach my daughter more about the local fauna but i have NO idea how to take care of these little buds…

PLEASE HELP Q__Q

paging @nanonaturalist

It’s that time of year, when the Saturniids start laying eggs all over the side of your house… I’ve got one of these asks in my inbox I need to get to (although I think it’s about the same moth so hey!)

First off, ASAP you need to remove the eggs (or if the lady is still around, put her in a paper bag to get eggs on something easier to deal with). The eggs are glued on with special moth resin, but eggs can be gently pried off fairly easily. I pick them off with my hands because it’s easiest to not squish them like it would be with tools.

Second, you need to locate a nearby host plant. Saturniids are usually pretty easy, especially because so many people raise them and document what they eat. The bugguide page for imperial moth has an example list of trees they munch leaves from [link]. Just giving leaves isn’t good enough, you need to give fresh leaves. Keep them from drying out somehow. Newly hatched caterpillars can be kept in small containers with lids (don’t poke holes! They have enough air and keeping in moisture is your goal!). But clean out containers daily, make sure mold doesn’t grow, give fresh leaves, etc.

Larger caterpillars will eat entire branches full of leaves bare before they can dry out, and I will keep these in pop-up laundry hampers (which they will also make cocoons in and emerge from as moths). When your caterpillars get larger than your thumb and you have an armful of them, you run out of aquarium space and have to get creative! If you have a host plant in your yard, you can sleeve: put the caterpillars on the plant, then cover the branch in a netting that birds and predators can’t penetrate (remember parasitic wasps are tiny!). All you need to do is make sure there’s enough food in the netting for them, and move it around for them as needed.

One thing to keep in mind, if you are raising indoors: air conditioning dried out the air significantly. Your eggs and caterpillars might need to get misted with water to stay hydrated.

Lots of people raise moths and butterflies. If there’s a garden club in your area, chances are there are butterfly and moth people there who can give you pointers.

Good luck!!

June 17, 2019

nanonaturalist: caterpillar-gifs: Euclea inc…

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 cat…

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: nanonaturali…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

I had an “assignment” from an entomologist at the California Department of Agriculture to rear a particular species of slug moth (Euclea incisa, not present in California so he can’t do it himself) and document variations in caterpillars from different broods. No problem! I said.

He probably didn’t expect embryonic development updates.

The eggs of this species are completely transparent and flat, so checking in was easy and SO COOL.

Anyways these babes are one of the stinging slug caterpillars, and they don’t have prolegs (?!), check out that last gif. Mom of these ones is in the last photo. They are super tiny, microscope shots are magnified 50x.

Said Californian entomologist is a Good Dude and offered to help me write up the paper without author credit on the babes. I can’t get an entomology job without an entomology degree, but I wonder how many single-author papers I can publish to substitute for one (probably none lol).

May 17, 2019

Spiny slug baby updates

The purpose of this “experiment” is to see if there are differences in how the caterpillars look between different batches of eggs, but I’m going to go insane keeping track of that here AND on iNat, so here are a bunch of unlabeled random slug babies! Microscope shots are all magnified 20x in this batch.

Arranged from youngest to oldest. They get spinier and stingier as they grow!

Jellypillar!!!!

Look! You can see them without the microscope now!!! And I am totally raising them in a parmesan container, they are too small to keep in anything else.

At their largest, they are about the size of a jelly bean. A… spiny jelly bean. Do not eat.

May 18, 2018

Spiny Slug Jellypillar Update

He monch

Wheeeeeee!

Save me

It’s warm enough in my house that I am constantly fighting against mold in their little containers, but if they are molting I can’t move them off a moldy leaf. It’s a situation. I upgraded the big batch of them to a salad bin (formerly in a parmesan container). The rest of the babies are in sauce cups.

Wecome to my salad bar!

May 26, 2019

The worst salad? Or…

the best salad?

They’re so cute save me how are there so many where did they come from

This isn’t even all of them

June 10, 2019

nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: nanonaturali…

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: nanonaturalis…

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-…

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: nanonaturalist: caterpillar-…

nanonaturalist:

nanonaturalist:

caterpillar-gifs:

Mystery slug caterpillar! Who is this?! Stay tuned! Updates will be incoming in my @nanonaturalist blog

Microscope shots magnified 20x
May 20, 2019

I investigated and our baby is:

a Yellow-shouldered Slug Moth (yet another stinging slug caterpillar!)

This dramatic fellow was hanging out in the yard for a while last month:

Here is a blurry shot next to my finger to show you how utterly massive these moths get:

truly spectacular

May 20, 2019

The child grows (I think?)

Resident slug moth expert (over in California) is not sure of my ID, but says whatever I have, hackberry is an undocumented host. Pressure is on to successfully get an adult moth! (Rearing these caterpillars is difficult! They are so small and dry out very easily).

May 26, 2019

The slug, hidden

On June 2nd, the baby had become JELLYPILLAR SLUGGARNAUT! A perfect button!

And then today, when I was cleaning the enclosure, I couldn’t find him. Where was the baby? I was taking the old leaves out, and noticed two twigs were stuck together. I pulled them apart and found:

A cocoon????? ALREADY?!? Here’s the crazy part: these caterpillars will make a cocoon, and then hibernate in it for ALMOST A YEAR BEFORE THEY PUPATE, according to the slug caterpillar expert who got his PhD studying these little friends. What tiny little moth is going to come out of this cocoon?! He didn’t get big enough!!!

But anyways, based on the morphology of the caterpillar and when it lost the spines, slug moth expert dude agrees with me that this is the Yellow-shouldered Slug Moth (I told him so :P)

June 7, 2019