Tuesday, May 3, 2011

unidentified caterpillar ~ 05/03/11 ~ at home

unidentified woollybear caterpillar
possible Hypercombe, Grammia, or Spilosoma sp.

I just wanted to show how this little fuzzy fella freaks me out and has some odd behaviors I've never seen before. Doesn't it look like the way a monarch caterpillar makes a J-shape right before it turns into a chrysalis? Except this guy has his head up and feet down and did not pupate. As of today, May 26, as I backpost this picture taken on May 3, he's still munching at night and resting during the day. For a couple weeks there, I was home way too much to observe my caterpillars' every move. Hopefully, he'll successfully pupate and I'll be able to identify him.

To see previous posts about this caterpillar, click the following dates:
May 2, 2011
April 1, 2011
March 31, 2011

ps 06/8/11 - I'm sad to report that this caterpillar died sometime in the past week. I had hoped it was getting ready to pupate since it didn't seem to move from its daytime resting spot under some lettuce for a few days. When I started seeing tiny white flecks around its body, I worried about parasites. So, I transferred it to a fresh, clean container that I called my caterpillar ICU and it moved just a little. After a week of no more eating or movement, I believe it's dead even though it's still plump with no obvious signs of infection.

pss 10/09/12 - I wonder if this might not be a salt marsh moth (Estigmene acrea)?