Friday, September 11, 2009

More Caterpillars!!

I didn't previously record the little fuzzy white caterpillar we found in June--

Apparently, it is a Fall Webworm: (this one? Hyphantria cunea (Arctiidae)? We kept him till he closed himself in a little netted wrap, but the rain got in his jar and drowned, as much as I love nature, and feeding the birds and all, I cannot say I mourned the loss of a WEBWORM!!

This area is teeming with cool creepers!

Now, here's the record of another slinkie dude we found about 10 days ago. I almost stepped on this black, fuzzy guy, tucked quietly into a corner of our shed (nowhere near tasty green leaves). I used the fantastic site, "What's That Bug?" to get me started down the right identification path, then more online searches to positively ID the little guy. Since I have recently lost the battery of our digi camera, I had to take these pics with my iPhone, and there's no macro lens or focusing power on the iPhone cam, so I apologize for the quality of these photos!

You might not be able to tell from this shot that it has orange stripes around each body segment:

That was a major clue to its identification. Another clue was how it curls up when you to touch it, to protect itself:

This is most certainly a Giant Leopard Moth (AKA the Hypercompe scribonia)! The one I reported about in my last entry was an American Dagger Moth (Species Acronicta americana). So now we have both in jars near the window. The GLM is doing really well, eating fresh leaves and discarding little pebbles to the bottom of the jar (if you know what I mean). The ADM weaved himself a rough bag around his body weeks ago, and hasn't budged.

Here is the ADM's "cocoon," difficult to discern from a dead leaf, and especially difficult to see through the glass jar with my iPhone photo options! Ugh. Anyway, it's still cool to be watching the metamorphosis of two local crawlies!

By the way, another great bug ID site is, where I was able to identify this tuxedo-wearing sweetheart we found in July while blackberry picking as a Clymene Moth a tiger moth also of the family Arctiidae (like the Giant Leopard Moth & Fall Webworm!):

[more details, for homeschoolers learning classifications]:

Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Noctuoidea

Then, the distinctions come @:
Family Arctiidae (Tiger Moths)
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger Moths)
Tribe Arctiini
Genus Hyphantria
Species cunea (Fall Webworm Moth - Hodges#8140)

Family Arctiidae (Tiger Moths)
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger Moths)
Tribe Arctiini
Genus Hypercompe
Species scribonia (Giant Leopard Moth - Hodges#8146)

Family Arctiidae (Tiger Moths)
Subfamily Arctiinae (Tiger Moths)
Tribe Callimorphini
Genus Haploa
Species clymene (Clymene Moth - Hodges#8107)

Family Noctuidae (Owlet Moths)
Subfamily Acronictinae
Genus Acronicta (Dagger Moths)
Species americana (American Dagger Moth - Hodges#9200)

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