Posts Tagged ‘leaf’

Extreme Shortage

The catalpa tree has been a quiet place this summer.

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This leaf had fallen from the tree, and these are eggs of the catalpa sphinx moth. These were the only ones I found. Usually they’re quite numerous.

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This leaf had fallen from the tree too. The caterpillars probably won’t survive since they’re too small to get back up in the tree.

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The caterpillar didn’t like my presence and started making rapid movements that were meant to deter me.

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The movements got more dramatic.

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The caterpillar went from leaf to leaf on its way to the south.

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I left after this dramatic display. I didn’t want to stress it any more.

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The catalpa tree has all its leaves … so I wonder what the caterpillar numbers will be like next year?

Unusual Leaf Miner

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More typical leaf miner “trails” look like the ones above in a catalpa leaf.

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 Obviously, this poison ivy plant stood out with such an unusual leaf miner design.

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A leaf miner is the larva of an insect that lives and develops inside a leaf. This type of mine is called a “blotch mine.” Mornings it looked like it had condensation in the mine, that wasn’t there in the evenings.

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If you look close, you can see a tiny larva.

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I was actually able to easily identify it online. It’s a poison ivy leaf miner (Cameraria guttifinitella).

The cause of the dark spots or the long crease of the upper surface remain a mystery.

Caterpillar Diary — September 27

In yesterday’s blog (Caterpillar Update) the red-spotted purple butterfly’s caterpillar had gone missing, and I found it on a different limb. This blog covers it’s activities for today.

The little caterpillar was attaching silk to the leaf in preparation for its hibernaculum.

It had eaten the design in the right side of the leaf for a reason, and was now starting to do the same on the left side.

Now it switched back up to add more silk at the base of the leaf. This will curl the leaf to the desired shape.

The little caterpillar took a break. I spent most of the day back and forth documenting its activities.

It took another break.  This little caterpillar was less than 1/2 inch long.

It was now about to cut the area up along the vein.

Almost done.

Next came a definite nap time.

The only way I could get this last shot was by flashlight.  Caterpillars work a lot at night, and its hibernaculum was finished the next morning.

That will be in my next blog tomorrow.