Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wildlife Wednesdays: Caterpillars

I am in no way qualified to write a post about bugs. Or for that matter any serious article on nature. In the interest of full disclosure: I nearly failed ninth grade biology.

But I'm curious about things (my step-dad would call it nosey). And I like to think I'm pretty good at research.

My cousin, Cassie, found this fellow in our campsite last weekend. I thought it was some kind of slug. Cassie, who I'd wager did not almost fail biology (she may have majored in it), knew it was a caterpillar.

He/she has cool "fake" eyes and we briefly held him/her in a paper cup so the boys could get a good look. Once we returned to the land of WiFi, it took all of twenty minutes to locate a similar image on the BugGuide.  I feel pretty confident labeling this guy a Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar.

It was a weekend for caterpillars.  The day after the Tiger Swallowtail sighting, Sherri spotted this fellow inching down the side of her tent.

That's my hand behind him for scale.  He's a pretty hefty caterpillar.  I spent more than an hour cruising various caterpillar image galleries and I still don't have a name for him.  Silvery Checkerspot?  Spiny Oakworm? I've no idea.  Let's just call him Carl.

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Sources and Further Reading

Butterflies and Moths of North America


Caterpillars of Eastern Forests, USGS

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