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Archive for August 20th, 2017

Mystery Caterpillars

This being caterpillar season, we put a mystery egg mass on a Swiss Chard leaf into a small container:

Mystery Caterpillar - eggs on Swiss Chard

Mystery Caterpillar – eggs on Swiss Chard

I think the darker egg was a dud, because two days later they all hatched and ate their egg cases, leaving that one behind:

Mystery Caterpillar - hatched

Mystery Caterpillar – hatched

Mary deported them to the trash, put two on a leaf in an aquarium on the kitchen table, and, eight days later:

Mystery Caterpillar - 8 days

Mystery Caterpillar – 8 days

They’ve been chowing down on spare garden greenery; unlike Monarchs, they eat what’s set before them.

One has dark “fur”:

Mystery Caterpillar - black morph

Mystery Caterpillar – black morph

The second is lighter:

Mystery Caterpillar - brown morph

Mystery Caterpillar – brown morph

A third caterpillar escaped the trash can apocalypse and also resides in the aquarium, albeit stunted by its ordeal:

Mystery Caterpillar - pale morph

Mystery Caterpillar – pale morph

They’re too bristly to be Wooly Bears. I’m sure they’ll turn into nondescript brown moths.

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