Welcome to the Caterpillar Blog!
I’m Brigette – that’s me on the side over there.
Yes, that’s a real caterpillar. Pseudosphinx tetrio, found in the Caribbean.
I have dabbled in blogging for several years now, but always kept my focus pretty broad. I thought it would be fun to talk about whatever I was in the mood for – science, sewing, my pets, you name it. In fact, that made it much harder to write effectively. I’m the sort of person who cannot just sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil and draw, or write, I need a plan. A purpose. A hint of inspiration and guidance. I’m a very organized person, and I detest purposeless clutter.
So here, I will focus my energies. I am a graduate student in my first year, starting my forays into caterpillar research. I will be studying the systematics and evolutionary biology of a subfamily of Noctuids, Acronictinae. To start out, I don’t know too much about caterpillars other than what I’ve learned in classes. I used to rear them occasionally when I was younger, but couldn’t really get into them because of the lack of field guides available. Even when we got the internet in my early teens, it was nearly impossible to identify caterpillars. But now I’ve become enveloped into an entirely new world full of possbilities! My advisor, Dr. Wagner, has written the Caterpillars of Eastern North America field guide, which I highly suggest you all purchase! I am becoming increasingly inspired and enthusiastic… but… I do not claim to be an expert by any means (…yet…). Here I will document my adventures in caterpillar rearing and research.
A few things you will probably notice about me as I write: I get very excited. About everything. And I use a lot of exclamation points!
-All photos, unless otherwise stated, are taken by me. You may freely post photos or entire posts as long as they link back here, but any other use requires my permission! Everything in blog posts are also posted on my flickr page (see the “Gallery” tab above).
-There will be guest posts by other members of the lab.
-I probably will not be any good at identifying caterpillars if you have mystery photos you want identified. My advisor’s book, and BugGuide.net are both great resources.
My first bunch of posts are going to be me playing catch-up… lots of great larval development happening in the lab the past few weeks!