Archive | March, 2013

Amata Annulata-Wasp Moth Caterpillar

7 Mar
Amata annulata.  Orange Spotted Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Amata annulata

Wow, such a big name for such a tiny, cute little guy!  First I’ll say that sometimes not being a professional entomologist has its advantages.  Ignorance is bliss, as they say.  Back home we have similar-looking caterpillars (I understand now they are probably some type of moth or butterfly caterpillar) but we called them Wooly Worms (Wooly Bears, here in Australia).  As kids, we picked them up by the dozens and would watch them crawl over our hands.  So, even though these guys are a lot smaller than the ones I’m used to seeing, I didn’t hesitate in picking them up.

You may be wondering why I’m writing this as if there is some danger.  Well, apparently these little guys (as well as many other species of caterpillars) can cause a skin sensitivity known as urticaria in some people.  Some caterpillars do it through a poison that is secreted  from the hollow hairs that cover them, and just touching them will cause itching or inflammation.  Some have stiff hairs (poison-ready) that can break off in skin, sort of like a splinter.  While still others have hairs sharp enough to pierce skin and transfer bacteria and other micro-organisms into the unlucky person or animal, which in turn can cause infections of different sorts.  Now, I’m allergic to all sorts of things but strangely, I’ve had no reaction to these.

These little guys eventually become what is known as the Wasp Moth.  And it makes sense that we are seeing the caterpillars because we’ve seen quite a few of the moths. My girls and I have always called them ‘bee moths’ because of their colours and stripes but apparently whoever named them thought they resembled wasps more.  And in my research I found out that there are even different types of Wasp Moths — Orange Shoulder, White Antenna (see below), Orange Headed…you get the idea.

Here’s a picture of the final product.

Wasp Moth

Wasp Moth

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/burtonandy/4367209106/

Advertisements

I’m back! New place, new creatures!

4 Mar

So, after muuuuuuuch delay on the part of the local internet provider, I am finally back in the land of the living…virtually speaking.  We just moved (6 hours away) and after a much needed break from all cabled connections, I am back online.  I’ve even had time to whip out a few short stories.  (Thanks Facebook break)

So, to kick things off I thought I’d post a few pics from the creatures I’ve encountered so far at the new digs.

Enjoy!

Green frog.  One of many here.

Green frog. One of many here.

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

My mailbox green frog.

My mailbox green frog.

Wooly Worm (moth caterpillar)

Wooly Worm (moth caterpillar)

I will be doing a post on the above fuzzy guy after doing some extensive research.  I’ve heard conflicting stories on what it is exactly and what it can do to you…specifically cause you to itch like hell.  So, since picking many of these little guys up (assuming they were moth or butterfly caterpillars) and not feeling a thing, I will be researching and finding out everything you, and I, need to know!

Green frog tadpole.

Green frog tadpole.

I saved one of the best for last.  In the next week I will be doing my post on the green frog tadpoles I’ve been raising.  Unfortunately, after reading an erroneous blog by some misinformed person and following their advice (against my gut and better judgement) I lost all 22 of my previous tadpoles.  So, I started over and the new ones (10 in all) are now just starting to sprout their hind legs.

Stay tuned!