Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Walnut Caterpillar Moth caterpillar (Datana integerrima)

The little assassin bug nymph in the post below doesn't really stand a chance of having much of an impact on our population of Walnut Caterpillar Moth caterpillars (Datana integerrima). Every year about this time, the caterpillars strip a few branches on our black walnut trees, but they don't do any real damage to the trees, so I just let them eat.

The caterpillars start out tiny, reddish-brown and virtually hairless. As they eat the caterpillars grow rapidly, darken to black and get very hairy.

Photo of adult moth from BugGuide.

(This photo was taken about ten hours after the one above.)



Kevin Heads said...

Nice photos Marvin. Isn't the insect world cool. I left you a comment the other day asking what lens you use for your insect photography. I only have a Sigma 70-300mm/Macro but it doesn't get close enough for me. Check my blog for examples that i took at the canal bank yesterday and you will see what i mean. Take care Kev

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

These photos, and your Assassin Bug pics, are just great! Thank goodness creepy critters like Assassin Bugs keep us from being overrun with Walnut Caterpillar Moths!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

One time I watched a Yellow-billed cuckoo eat some fuzzy caterpillars. I wonder if this was the caterpillar it was eating. Intersting.

smilnsigh said...

All that eating and growing, in just 10 hours. Well, I must say, they do look a whole lot better, after eating! Compared to first view, the second photo is nearly pretty.

I said _nearly_! >,-)

I still don't want dessert...

Ahhh hahhhhhhhh! I could use viewing these various bug-ies, as a diet plan!! ,-) Hey, I'll take any help I can get. :-))))


Willard said...

Hi Marvin,

You and your camera do an exceptional job of capturing the close-ups. They are excellent and I like the commentary.

I liked Sunday's post on The Deptford Pink especially as I was photographing it this morning. I was surprised to learn that it is listed as an invasive species, but I also read somewhere lately that clover is also listed as invasive, at least under certain circumstances. Whatever the case it is a beautiful flower and you did an excellent job of photographing it and all of the other plants and insects!

Small City Scenes said...

Most interesting. We had English (Persia) Walnuts and never did see a mass of Caterpillars like the black Walnut ones. We did get Tent Caterpillars on our Apple Trees. They will devour a whole orchard if left untended.
Great shots as usual. thanks for the great info. MB

Christy said...

Thanks Marvin for stopping by my blog and for the tips on macro shots. I really appreciate it. If I had had more time without the fear of the skies opening up, I probably would have shot a few more shots, I think I took about ten this day. I am learning to be more patient and allow myself to snap away. Training on film teaches you to be a little more conservative but since I have switched to digital I am loosening my hold back on shooting images.

Great job on your shots. I loved the butterfly and without fail as another commented you had a creepy looking bug the next day howbeit though an excellent image.

David said...

Hi Marvin,

These are amazing pics! I didn't know that these caterpillars could look so beautiful. The first one almost looks like a computer generated fractal.

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I know time on the internet is valuable. The answer to the question on my blog is: a close up of moss on a rock under a waterfall in background. I'll probably post the full photo next, so keep an eye out! :)



Old Wom Tigley said...

Two excellent, informative post Marvin.. I can't get over those nymph's... and the shot of the hairiness is a stunner. I hope that they still leave the main part of the tree intact. You blog is a great place to visit.. and the Bug Guide site you link to is awesome.

laughingwolf said...

some folk eat them, not me... yet :(

Louise said...

I never liked those things when I lived in your neck of the woods. I prefer things with 8 or fewer legs! But terrific pictures!