On a dark and rainy (pouring!) Wednesday this week, Judith Holm was out on the Chelem Trail in the Estuary. She was making a start on planning a scavenger hunt for our upcoming Earth Day celebration. (More on that to come!) Being there brought to mind the above caterpillar she had ’met‘ back in July.
Her story: “On the north side of the trail, I found some of these walking the strongly triangular, stiff stems of the sedge Bolboschoenus maritimus. I had no idea what they were, but it was very easy to find out, using BugGuide.net. All you need to do is take a few close-up photos from different angles and send them to BugGuide and the answer comes back amazingly quickly, as long as the photos provide enough clues. This site includes spiders in addition to insects.”
The photo above shows the caterpillar stage of the Acronicta oblinita moth, commonly known as the Smeared Dagger Moth. With the caterpillar being such a colourful creature, are you curious about the adult? Well, as this photo at left (courtesy of the North American Moth Photographers’ Group) shows, it is not at all flamboyant.
Thanks to Judith for this tip and for such an intriguing photograph.