Monday, June 14, 2010

Jumping what?

Remember Mexican jumping beans? Those always fascinated me as a kid. But I digress. James and I were walking through our Wildscape late Friday afternoon when he stopped to examine the turk's cap.

"I wonder what's eating them?" he asked, fingering a chewed-up leaf. One of many chewed-upon leaves.

Beetles, I thought.


A closer look turned up a lime green caterpillar. Then another and another. I reached out and touched one. FLICK! "Did you see that?" I exclaimed. "It JUMPED!" I laughed and laughed. It was the craziest thing to see a caterpillar actually JUMP. James was flabbergasted, too.

Last night, I finally identified our leaf jumper, using our caterpillar field guide: a yellow scallop moth (Anomis erosa). The folks at this morning confirmed the ID.

UPDATE JANUARY 9, 2012–The experts at never give up. I just recently received updates to my inquiry. Seems our caterpillar is not Anomis erosa but instead Bagisara sp., a member of Noctuidae family (owlet moths)!

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