I hope you enjoy taking a closer look at some of the things I find interesting.
- North America (155)
- South America (171)
- Amphibians (10)
- Frogs and Toads (10)
- Arachnids (41)
- Fungi (3)
- Insects (215)
- Ants, Bees, Wasps and Relatives (44)
- Barklice (1)
- Beetles (27)
- Butterflies and Moths (55)
- Cockroaches (2)
- Dragonflies (1)
- Earwigs (1)
- Flies (20)
- Grasshoppers and Relatives (9)
- Mantids (3)
- Net-winged Insects (7)
- Termites (5)
- Thrips (1)
- True Bugs (57)
- Walkingsticks (1)
- Webspinners (1)
- Mammals (2)
- Millipedes (1)
- Polyxenids (1)
- Plants (3)
- Reptiles (13)
- Velvet Worms (3)
- Amphibians (10)
Whenever I see a moth shaped like this, I assume it’s a tortricid. Probably not a bad guess, considering Tortricidae is one of the largest familes of Lepidoptera.
I found quite a few cocoons like the one shown above. They all had openings where the moths or parasitoids had emerged. I didn’t spot any hairy caterpillars that might be responsible for them. Here are a few more examples of the cocoons.
This is the largest bagworm I’ve ever seen. The twigs look like they’ve been cut up by a beaver. It was empty, so a moth must have already emerged. I know it’s a bagworm because later in the trip I found another one that still had a caterpillar in it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me.
I found several of these caterpillars. They all had lighter colored mid-abdominal segments, like this one.
Did you find the hidden moth in the last crypsis challenge? If not, here’s where it was hidden.
In natural light it blended in quite well. With a flash though, it really pops out.
I thought the eyespot was interesting and I managed to get a closeup before the moth took off.
I expected this would be an easy challenge. All commenters correctly mentioned the moth. Good job, everyone!
This caterpillar has an interesting profile. I’ve seen caterpillars with enlarged thoracic segments, but I don’t recall ever seeing a geometrid like this. I assume this is a geometrid because it only has two pairs of prolegs.
I was just about to publish this and I decided to look through my copy of Caterpillars of Eastern North America to see if I saw anything similar in the section on geometrids. This is not unlike the caterpillar of the Tulip-tree Beauty (Epimecis hortaria). I’ve never actually seen one of those, even though I often see the adults. Wagner says the odd proportions are distinctive for that species for North America. Perhaps this is a Brazilian species in that genus.
Metamorphosis for this butterfly appears to have been interrupted by a parasite, a small wasp perhaps. You can see the hole where the parasite chewed its way out. Oddly, there’s a similar hole on the other side. Maybe it abandoned this other exit since it looks incomplete. Or maybe there were actually multiple parasites.
I know this is the chrysalis of a brush-footed butterfly in the family Nymphalidae because other butterfly families use a a small silken thread around the thorax to help secure it. Here’s an example from an earlier post.