Tortricid Moth

February 19th, 2012 - 7:41 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

8mm long | July 8, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Micromoth

February 12th, 2012 - 7:12 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 3 Comments

July 8, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Micromoth

February 12th, 2012 - 2:36 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

8mm long | July 8, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Side view

Caterpillar

February 12th, 2012 - 2:26 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

13mm long | July 8, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Hairy Cocoons

November 25th, 2011 - 6:26 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

15mm long | July 6, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Cocoon with emergence hole

One more example

Bagworm Cocoon

November 25th, 2011 - 9:06 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

9cm tall | July 6, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Closeup of cocoon construction

With my hand, for scale

Caterpillar

November 24th, 2011 - 8:58 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

25mm long | July 6, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I found several of these caterpillars. They all had lighter colored mid-abdominal segments, like this one.

Crypsis Challenge #15 Reveal: Moth

November 2nd, 2011 - 9:19 PM | Filed under Uncategorized | No comments

Did you find the hidden moth in the last crypsis challenge? If not, here’s where it was hidden.

Moth, Hidden

Moth, Revealed

In natural light it blended in quite well. With a flash though, it really pops out.

40mm wingspan

I thought the eyespot was interesting and I managed to get a closeup before the moth took off.

Eyespot Closeup

I expected this would be an easy challenge. All commenters correctly mentioned the moth. Good job, everyone!

Geometrid Caterpillar with Enlarged Thorax

October 25th, 2011 - 5:47 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

23mm long | July 5, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Closeup of head and thorax

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.

Reference:

Caterpillars of Eastern North America
by David L. Wagner

Parasitized Brush-footed Butterfly Chrysalis

October 24th, 2011 - 8:17 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

17mm long | July 5, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Another exit hole?

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.

Swallowtail Chrysalis

Butterfly chrysalises can be quite intricate and this one has some interesting flourishes.

Dorsal view

Reference:

Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates:
A Guide to North American Species

by Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney