Category: mothblr


Imperial moth caterpillar, now 4th instar! One more molt to go before pupation!

October 20, 2019

Still alive, still unemployed, still raising giant chonking caterpillars. Got 40 of these spiny sausages.

Save me

Also, hire me dammit

October 21, 2019

Glumshoe my Polyphemus silk moth jk just emerged and it's September! Should I release her now?

Oh hmmm… did you keep her indoors/near incandescent light? If they get too much unnatural light cycle, they’ll eclose from their cocoons early and not overwinter. I’m not sure where you live, but here it’s too late in the season for a new generation. You might have some luck keeping her in a wide-meshed enclosure outside at night, where any male moths still hanging around might find her… but I’m concerned that even if she laid eggs, there won’t be leaves on the trees long enough for the larvae to grow to pupation and overwinter.

So. Up to you. If you want to try for the slim chance of another generation, go for it… or release her and she may either get lucky on her own or serve as a meal for a hungry owl or bat or something.

A few years ago my mother tried raising luna moths but didn’t know about the light and temperature cycle, so she kept their cocoons indoors over the winter where they stayed warm and were exposed to incandescent light. They ended up eclosing just before Christmas—there was nowhere for them to go, so we just had ~20 giant green moths fluttering around loose inside our house for a week before they died.


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


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

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






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


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:


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


@gachimushi found this extremely good two-inchworm in our garden tonight.


July 9, 2019





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!


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


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!



@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.


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



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.


I love them *kisses the babies*

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


June 17, 2019