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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hungry, Hungry Caterpillars

This morning when I checked on the caterpillars a lot of the leaf was gone, but where were the worms?

milkweed tussock moth caterpillar

Oh, there they are! And they are almost twice as long as yesterday, about a centimeter long, so probably third instar now. They really grow fast!

milkweed tussock moth caterpillar

And definitely looking like the tussock moth type caterpillars with those tufts of hair. In most cases, those can be irritating to the skin, so I didn't encourage any of them to crawl on my hands.

milkweed tussock moth caterpillar

When I got home tonight I thought I'd check on them. Wow! They didn't read the memo about how they don't usually eat the veins (to avoid the bitter sap).

milkweed tussock moth caterpillar

There isn't going to be enough room for them tomorrow. There are more leaves farther down the stalk, but they don't seem to have any sense of knowing that. The few you see on the main stem are the ones that have ventured the farthest. Will they all just fall off? Apparently no bird found the free lunch here, either.

So many cool things happened today, I hardly know what to share, but I had to continue the caterpillar saga.

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Ann said...

I'm glad you did continue the caterpillar saga because that is just fascinating. They aren't wasting any time with that leaf

Secondary Roads said...

Is that called a growth spurt?

Lin said...

I'm surprised they don't attack each other. I've found the monarchs rarely eat off the same leaf. If they happened to find another caterpillar, they'd sort of rear back.

I'm surprised they haven't been found and eaten too!

The Oceanside Animals said...

hello sharkbytes its dennis the vizsla dog hay wow i hav herd of hungry hungry hippos but not hungry hungry caterpillars!!! they seem to like their greens almost as mutch as tucker did!!! ha ha ok bye