Category Archives: Geometridae

Carnivorous caterpillars

Sadly I do not have any carnivorous caterpillars of my own (though some caterpillars in our lab turn cannibalistic in times of stress), but I came across this article on some awesome caterpillars in Hawaii. Some species in the genus Eupethecia have evolved a taste for other tasty insects. Watch the GIFs, learn, and enjoy!

Intercepted

I was walking to my car yesterday when a caterpillar landed one me.

It was a little guy in the family Geometridae, hanging by a silk thread.

Go inchworm, go!

Caterpillar love story

An adorable animation from Minuscule:

While this is cute, I of course have a few issues with it.

1) Anatomy. I do appreciate the attempt to separate the six true legs and the prolegs, but there are too many prolegs for an inch worm caterpillar. Though they were separated to get the inching motion, which is good. I can forgive the eyes for dramatic effect, though there are supposed to be more (up to 6 on each side).

2) They are sexually immature. Caterpillars do not find love – adult butterflies and moths do. Caterpillars are simply the eating-machine stage, utterly uninterested in a mate until after pupation. They have developing gonads, but they are non-functional.

3) Wrong “worm” in the apple. Inch worms are in the family Geometridae (and a few in Noctuidae), and they do NOT eat apples. It’s the codling moth caterpillar (Cydia pomonella), in the family Tortricidae, that is the typical “worm” that burrows into apples.

As I bet you can guess, I’m really terrible to watch movies with.

Can you spot the caterpillar?

I went exploring today, but instead of using my net or beating sheet, I focused on “zenning” for insects. It’s a term used by some lepidopterists I know, referring to calmly looking among the foliage to spot caterpillars. This way they can be observed in their natural positions instead of being shaken off. Of course, this takes lots of training and knowledge (and luck).

Can you spot the caterpillar here?


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