Saturday, October 17, 2020

Baby Bear!

Longtime readers will know that I have a fondness for woolly bear caterpillars, the larvae of the Isabella tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella).  Ordinarily, I find the charming caterpillars while they are approximately the length and girth of my pinkie finger, a pretty hefty size for a caterpillar.  Last Monday, I found the smallest woolly bear that I've ever seen:

Look at that wee, precious beastie!  If it's lucky, it will bulk up on a variety of plants (no specialist like the monarch here), becoming the cute, finger-sized chunk that I am used to seeing, then freeze solid during the coldest winter days, ready to thaw out in the spring and develop into a pretty yellow moth.

As I've noted, I have a fondness for these little fuzzy buddies, and I was overjoyed to see one this small... next year, I think I'll have to keep my eyes peeled to see if I can spot the eggs of this charismatic moth.


Li'l Innocent said...

Hmm - looks like a mildish winter!
I Wiki'd the woolly bear moth, and phooey on their boring rationalistic poo-poohing of the caterpillar's weather predicting color scheme. They mention another folkloric bit I never heard before - that you can predict winter by releasing a woolly bear and watching what direction it crawls away in: south for a hard winter, north for a mild one.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Amazing how a caterpillar can accumulate so much folklore

Robert Mcneilly said...

Amazing the Caterpillar knows which way North and South sre.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Hmmmm... maybe those rust-red hairs are actual rust, therefore magnetic.

Effin' caterpillars, how do they work?