Thursday, September 16, 2010

Caterpillar Discoveries

WHAT an amazing diversity of caterpillars we've seen recently! If you ever want to send a family into a frenzy, put an interesting caterpillar close by. Emma goes running for our caterpillar field guide. Alexander runs to investigate, wants to pick it up, squeeze it, check out its underside, put it in his pocket or sometimes make it a bed. I run to gently guide this inquisitiveness into more caterpillar-friendly activities. When reassured that our little friend is safe, I run to get the camera. Come back, take photos, look it up in the book and ... well sometimes find out that the little friend is actually ravishing my vegetables and kinda sorta wish I hadn't got to Alexander in time. Now how to remove the offending creature without sending very confusing messages to the children....?

Shown are a salt marsh caterpillar on ironweed (seen close to river) and a tobacco horn worm on my tomatoes! The size is not due only to perspective; the caterpillar was actually about 4" long. It sat on one tomato plant for about four days before mysteriously disappearing (not by me - it really did disappear). It was so well disguised, it looked exactly like a curled up leaf.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May I use your photograph of the salt marsh caterpillar in a powerpoint presentation on moths that I am giving at the state symposium of the Native Plant Society of Texas? I will put your name on your photograph.
Thank you for your consideration. I understand if this is not how you wish your photograph to be used.