Blog Archives

Fuzzy babies

Lots of fuzzy baby caterpillars here in the lab. Right now these two species look pretty similar, but the differences will start accumulating in the next few instars. Currently they are less than a week old. The first two photos are the babies from this post!

hastulifera_1

Acronicta hastulifera, second instar

hastulifera_2

Acronicta hastulifera, second instars

americana_1

Acronicta americana, second instars (and molting into third)

Advertisements

Babies everywhere

300. That is how many little Acronicta hastulifera caterpillars hatched this weekend (click here to see the mother). Actually, there were probably more than 300, but I stopped counting.

hastulifera_1

Developing eggs, two days before hatching.

hastulifera_2

Lots of little first instars.

hastulifera_3

As you can see by the giant holes in some eggs, many of them ate their egg-shells before wandering off.

hastulifera_4

Babies on their host plant, alder (Alnus). Exploring a bit before settling down to eat.

The big hatching event happened on Sunday. It’s a good thing I came into the lab, because by Monday they would have been dead without food. I then became incredibly nervous that I might not have given them the right host plant, but they have been producing a large amount of frass (poop). Hurray! I get so protective of my caterpillar babies. This is what they look like today:

hastulifera_5

Frass machines.

They are going to become wonderfully fuzzy caterpillars as they grow. I can’t wait!

Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.