Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Closer look turns up new species

This evening, we were strolling through the back yard as per our usual after-supper routine. I looked up at the pearl milkweed vine (Matelea reticulata) that's growing around a pole. Near the top, a thick green stem caught my eye. Hmm, I thought, milkweed vine stems aren't THAT fat. I squinted harder at the "stem." Sure enough, its top part moved. It was the head of A CATERPILLAR! I challenged James to find a caterpillar among the green leaves, and it didn't take him long to spot what I'd found. Plus, James found MORE munching away. Lots more!

On two more milkweed vines, we found another nursery of nearly grown caterpillars. One was especially grouchy when James touched it with a twig. It flung its heard around and acted like it was going to "bite" James. Very entertaining! But what I found interesting was their white knobbed heads. I've never seen this sphinx species before. After a bit of nosing around on the Internet, I found the identification–we have a large brood of Lassaux's sphinx (Erinnyis lassauxii) caterpillars. The adults are unremarkable looking.

1 comment:

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

They look like twigs, great camouflage.

Some caterpillars give me the creeps they are so ugly.

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