Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bug of the Day

I was just about to leave the house to walk to a dentist appointment when I realized I didn't have a camera with me, and you never know when you might see something worth photographing. I happened to spot this caterpillar in the park.


It's hard to tell which end is the front, which is, of course, the intent. I assume that means it's more likely to survive having its tail bitten than its head, otherwise there'd be no point to the deception. The long hairs also make it a less appetizing mouthful. Some caterpillars have hairs that can be quite irritating if you touch them. (And in rare cases cause allergic reactions.)

I think this is Lophocampa maculata or Spotted Tussock Moth. It's supposed to feed on poplar or willow leaves but it comes down from the trees to find a place to pupate, which might be why this one was in the grass.

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