Thursday, November 18, 2004

Caterpillars


Close up!
See more of these little guys in the following post.

Just hatched

I saw the eggs just a few days ago, on our patio cover. Today, they hatched.



Lotsa teeny caterpillars



Some eggs still visible



on the edge



Painted Tiger Moth.
I think this is what they will turn into.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

All Hail The Royal Offspring


Monarch



A little guy



Queen



Monarch and queen caterpillars competing for what's left of the same branch.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

They're not bugs...

..but they're cute little critters, so I'm including them today.


I really like my little yellow froggie! He wasn't really happy with his first terrarium set-up, but then I changed it, and now his appetite is much better and he is growing. I clean his house about once a week, and when I take him and his plants out, it's much easier to get a cute picture of him.




Now that we have had rain, and the weather is cooler, the salamanders are returning (from wherever they hide all summer). This was the first one I saw last weekend.



Like an earthworm with a little froggy face on it. (and legs!)

Monday, November 08, 2004

Pinkish, purplish, grayish, mantid.

This has been a great year for the mantids here. I saw many at the arboretum. These are a different species than the ones that live in my yard. They are smaller and a little slimmer. They have the little spot on the underside of the abdomen, like the one's I had when I was a kid.

I had rationalized that I would bring a few home, because the whole front area of the arboretum where I found them is going to be remodeled. The resulting landscaping changes would likely send too many oothecae into the chipper. I can keep the mantids unitl they lay eggs, then keep the eggs until they hatch and release the babies in just the right spot. (Yes, I could just move these mantids to a better spot in the arboretum, but you never know what plants those pesky groundskeepers will trim next.)

So anyway, there I was yesterday, staring into this one bush where I had previously seen two adult females. This time I found four of them. I took the 2 bigger ones. One of them was this beautiful, weirdly colored one.






I didn't have my camera with me yesterday, because I had my collecting stuff instead. (Didn't want to be too loaded down.) So I posed her this morning on one of my succulent plants that comes closest to matching her coloring.


Compared to her green sister.


Just a note: I don't know why the pictures don't look 100% sharp. They looked better viewed through the Nikon image thingy. They also look better when you click on them.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Observations on limb regeneration in stick insects

I have seen how some insects can regrow lost legs, especially if the loss occurs at a young age. What I find really interesting is how the new legs grow in the stick insects. When the insect has its next molt after the loss,
a tiny, curled-up leg emerges. I think it must develop under the exoskeleton all coiled-up, only to be released when the insect sheds. Then, it gradually straightens and grows with each subsequent shed until it reaches normal size.

I wonder if the baby stick insect is similarly coiled inside its egg before it hatches. I'd like to watch one hatch someday.



Regenerated "embryonic" leg. Click image to enlarge. You can see the toes.

UPDATE: See part 2 of this post here.

A new one for me!

This morning, I was taking Boomer for a walk, and I spied this caterpillar on a low planter wall. A quick scan of the immediate area revealed some little shrubs with several more of them. I had never seen this kind of caterpillar before, so after I finished my walk with Boomie, I looked in my book and on the internet, and I have tentatively identified it as a Genista Moth caterpillar.

Then, of course, I went back with my camera to take pictures of them!



Genista moth caterpillar



Two caterpillars on their host plant
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