Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday's Foto

Over the past couple of weeks Woolly Bear Caterpillars have been appearing all around the area. Legend has it that this larval form of the Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) is a predictor of the coming Winter's severity. Supposedly, the wider the orange segment, the milder the Winter. In reality, individuals from the same clutch of eggs show a wide range of band sizes, plus, the bands grow with the age of the caterpillar. Their host plants include asters, birch leaves, clover, corn, dandelions, elm leaves, maple leaves, sunflowers, and nettles. The larval stage overwinters, where its entire body freezes, protected by a cryoprotectant, then thaws in the Spring to emerge, become a moth, mate and start the process over. Cuckoos eat Woolly Bear caterpillars.


Eggwork said...

I like that their defense mechanism is that they look like a toilet brush.

Rob Jett said...

You should see the Plunger Caterpillar!

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope