DOUBLE-TOOTHED PROMINENT

Witness the Double-Toothed Prominent (Nerice bidentata), in all its leaf-edge-mimicking glory! Not surprisingly, Double-Toothed Prominents are a favorite around here. We love how accurately their double-toothed backs imitate the double-toothed elm leaves on which they live and feed. We love searching for them on little sunburnt elm trees along roadsides. We love their scientific name, Nerice bidentata, which has inspired us to nickname them “crazy old Nerice,” a deeply obscure reference to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Today, we discovered another reason to love the Double-Toothed Prominent: a delightful old article describing the species. In June 1892, Caroline G. Soule’s “The Early Stages

SNOWBERRY CLEARWING

Here's Hemaris diffinis, the snowberry clearwing. Sphinx caterpillar season has arrived in New England. Walking along roadsides near meadows and gardens, we are starting to spot tiny irregular holes in the leaves of honeysuckle bushes. Turning over these leaves uncovers tiny first instar clearwing caterpillars - light bluegreen with a narrow black horn. The final instar is a delightful caterpillar with black "porthole" spots surrounding each spiracle. They often turn to look me in the eye when I disturb them for a quick photograph. -Sam

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The Caterpillar Lab fosters greater appreciation and care for the complexity and beauty of our local natural history through live caterpillar educational programs, research initiatives, and photography and film projects. We believe that an increased awareness of one’s local environment is the foundation on which healthy and responsible attitudes towards the broader natural systems of this world is built.

© 2015 CATERPILLAR LAB INC.  With original artwork by Heather Reid and Samuel Jaffe

 

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