CATERPILLAR OF THE WEEK: There are few caterpillars as invested in the defense of their adult forms as the White-marked Tussock, Orgyia leucostigma. The elegant colored spines and hair pencils that make tussocks so distinct will aid in the protection of all subsequent life stages - read on.
_____________________________________________________ For some species, it starts and ends with the caterpillar: We have been trained to think of cycles of growth and reproduction with a
CATERPILLAR OF THE WEEK: Because I’m struggling to think about anything besides my trip home for the holiday, I’m offering you another Christmassy critter this week, the Northern Apple Sphinx (Sphinx poecila).
_____________________________________________________ Commonly found on a variety of plants--including apple, sweetfern, blueberry, larch, gale, rose, willow, and more—the Northern apple sphinx is one of the most easily found sphinx caterpillars in New England. What ag
CATERPILLAR OF THE WEEK: Festively colored for the holiday season, The Joker (Feralia jocosa) was destined to be featured in December.
_____________________________________________________ The joker has two striking forms of camouflage in its life. As a caterpillar, it blends in with the foliage of its primary food plant, Eastern hemlock. As a moth, it expertly and beautifully mimics the coloration of green lichen. Joker moths mainly fly in April and early May in the Keene,
This week's Caterpillar of the Week, spicebush swallowtail (Papilio troilus), has an extra-special body part that some of you may have observed at our shows. It's a two-pronged structure called an osmeterium, which stays hidden under the caterpillar's skin until the caterpillar feels threatened. When the caterpillar is squeezed, poked, or prodded, out pops the osmeterium! It emerges from the caterpillar's thorax, just behind the head, and may mimic a forked tongue, helping th
CATERPILLAR OF THE WEEK: A comical face hidden among the leaves, the spicebush swallowtail caterpillar, Papilio troilus, is one of the region's most striking and well-developed predator mimics.
_____________________________________________________ I still remember the first time I discovered one of these charismatic caterpillars in the wild. It was like opening up a present. A folded green leaf shelter is not an uncommon site on a sassafras or spicebush plant, but not every