Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yellow hairy caterpillar with a few black hairs & this year's Cicada

I was putting down some mulch when I noticed this caterpillar crawling through the grass. I let it crawl on the shovel then transferred it to the concrete floor of the garage so I could photograph it more clearly.

When the photo session was over I put it on the spice bush but later research indicates that it actually prefers red maples. Oh well there are a few ornamental maples along the street nearby so it can easily make its way to the trees.

I even thought of doing a video using the point and shoot camera so I have a 2 minutes long movie of the caterpillar... well...doing caterpillar stuff which is mainly crawling. Now I guess I'll have to open a YouTube account or post it on Google video for you to see it.

I did a search and it is an Acronicta americana - American Dagger Moth from the Bug Guide.net site. Here's another site that shows the caterpillar and moth.


I nudged the caterpillar and it immediately rolled up into a ball. I guess those sparse tufts of black hairs could look like sharp spines to a predator.



I flipped it to see what the underside looked like. It turned out to be green.







I also found this year's race of cicada that was lying dead on the road. It's rear end looked like some of its innards were coming out but I think it must be part of the ovipositor although I don't know if cicadas have such a thing. Anyway it must be part of the egg laying organ. some of the cicadas I've seen in previous years have red eyes but this one is just black. Primitive looking but one of the more interesting bugs around with exquisite clear glass like wings.

7 Comments:

Blogger Robin's Nesting Place said...

I love to get closeup looks at unusual creatures, they are so fascinating. These are great pictures.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi RNP,
I stumble on these creatures and find them very interesting too. An acquaintance a long time ago remarked "If you had to make something as small as an ant with all the joints and muscles and make it able move in a coordinated manner it would be an impossible project." I often think about that statement when viewing how intricate the parts of a seemingly simple insect can be.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous caterpillar engine parts said...

oh wow!
that is an unusual caterpillar!
beautiful pictures though.
You would make an amazing photographer!

Cheers mate,
Anrea

7:03 PM  
Anonymous birdy said...

Did a nice job. Beautiful closeup shots.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Pam Gaulin said...

Thank you so much for the info about the yellow caterpillar. My son and I found one today. My camera battery was dead, so no pictures. The one I saw had four little black pieces in the front near its head and two in the back. The head was very black and shiny. I noticed his little feet were very sticky. Again, thanks!

11:57 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

i found one just like that at my house do u no what they eat

7:52 PM  
Blogger dalelake said...

I had 3 of these hairy, yellow caterpillars at the base of a Tatarian Maple on September 21. I'd never seen one before. Thanks for the ID.
South suburbs of Denver, Colorado
6000'

8:38 AM  

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