Friday, September 06, 2019

2019 venture vermont: ID 2 different types of caterpillars

caterpillars can be hard, because there are so may variations and here's a thing you maybe did not know about them: many species of caterpillar molt five times before they pupate, and each instar (that state between molts) can look very, very different.

i got a couple of good ones this year, though.

this is an abbott's sphinx, which will become an abbott's sphinx moth (sphecodina abbottii). when i saw it, it was a little green guy but in a later instar it will have become some fantastic yellow and brown with more or less triangular dazzle camo.

this is a pine imperial moth (eacles imperialis, spp. pini). it has reached its fifth instar and has now climbed down out of the trees to find a suitable burrow in which to pupate. in this stage of life it's known as a prepupa, and this unfortunate fellow appeared to have been in the process of being eaten by wasps.

1 comment:

Zhoen said...

I had no idea about the complexity of caterpillar life cycles. How amazing.


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