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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INCREDIBLE WINTER SPECIES, PART III

February 12, 2016

 

We’re going to end this week’s celebration of winter survivalist caterpillars with a bonanza of three different species!

 

First, Euchlaena (species unknown). These caterpillars may overwinter in the leaf litter or attached to their host plant—scientists are unsure. In Caterpillars of Eastern North America, author and researcher David Wagner provides a humorous description of Euchlaena: “When handled, Euchlaena caterpillars are lethargic and sticklike, shunning quick movement.” Perhaps these larvae rely so heavily on their camouflage that they opt out of the twitching behaviors many other twig-mimic caterpillars adopt when danger is nigh.

 

The Porcelain Gray (Protoboarmia porcelaria), whom you met on Monday, is making a guest appearance today in another photo.

 

Finally, you’ll see the Common Lytrosis (Lytrosis unitaria). Here’s a comment from David Wagner on this one: “When pinched, the larva makes no attempt to wriggle or escape, but rather contracts, increasing turgor within its body, making itself even more twiglike.” There’s your fun fact of the day!

 

Stay warm this weekend! We look forward to sharing another caterpillar next week.

 

- Liz Kautz
TCL Education Director

 

Each week (or at least SOME weeks!) The Caterpillar Lab features a "Caterpillar of the Week." Each featured caterpillar is a species we've raised at our lab in Keene, NH. We hope you enjoy meeting the caterpillars of New England!

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