Sunday, October 08, 2006

caterpillar mystery solved

special thanks to everyone who offered help and ideas on the identification of all the caterpillars that we have been having in our area. while they are great fun for "the kids" to play with, they are causing an environmental problem with the farmers as they strip the leaves off of the soybeans and may cause an even more harsh problem in their later phases of life.

i was hoping that all these caterpillars were headed toward "butterfly-dom" some day and imagining how thrilling that would be to see (and to share w/ raven), but instead have found our that they are going to be moths instead. sandy, who left the info on my blog as a comment in the previous post, supplied the name of "yellow woolly bear caterpillar" -- with the scientific name of "spilosoma virginica" -- and after checking several internet sites, that seems to be what we have.

according to the websites, these caterpillars are searching for dark places to hibernate as larvae since the weather has started to turn cool/cold. that would be why they are all on the porch, around/on the doors, around/on the garage doors and so easily underfoot. after hibernating through the winter, the caterpillars will become active again for a short time and feeding before making cocoons out of silk and body hair. then after 2-3 weeks, the tiger moth emerges from the cocoon to begin the new phase of life. at that point -- this is what we'll have an overabundance of . . . . . . . .

3 Comments:

Blogger Ruizlim√≥n said...

It is certainly a beautiful moth, isn't it?
Guillermo.

Sun Oct 08, 09:32:00 AM CDT  
Blogger Warren Bunch said...

At least it is a pretty one! I hate those ugly brown and tan ones! And these will look enough like a butterfly, since they are pretty, that maybe Raven won't notice!
- Summer

Sun Oct 08, 09:40:00 AM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mrs wonderful do you think we could sell some of these on ebay???

love mr. wonderful

Mon Oct 09, 05:01:00 PM CDT  

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