07.16.2022 Small Saturday

Sorry.  I just can’t come up with something more clever.

I saw one of these caterpillars on a daisy fleabane a few weeks ago but it was rolled tight atop the flower and didn’t make for a good image.  But today I found another on a different flower and then a little later found it stretched across two.

Cucullia florea-Gray hooded-owlet  These feed mainly on Composites like this fleabane.

I was happy to find it moving from one to the other so we could see its head and back end anal claspers along with the nice markings.  The circular spots are spiracles which do gas exchange…oxygen and carbon dioxide.  Kind of an attractive little fellow although probably not a friend to garden flowers.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Closeup Photography, Insect Behavior, Lepidoptera, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to 07.16.2022 Small Saturday

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Now that is a fine pin-striped suit! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They look very green..lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I’ve seen these or anything like them. I like the green.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The top picture originally led me to think I was seeing two caterpillars.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann Mackay says:

    That little one looks as if it’s wearing a very, very tiny quilt! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s a big stretch.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your first shot is so mesmerizing! Great shots, Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Littlesundog says:

    Nice photograph, and interesting detail on this caterpillar. You were correct when you noted garden flowers (gardeners too!) might not appreciate them. I’ve also discovered that chickens won’t even bother to eat most caterpillars.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. They are beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  10. shoreacres says:

    I knew about true legs and prolegs, but I’d missed anal claspers. Your photo of this character stretched across the great divide reminded me of the inch worms I’ve seen, and now I know why: “The majority of one large family of moths, the Geometridae, have only one pair of prolegs and a pair of rear claspers which cause them to walk by advancing one end of their body at a time, forming a loop in their folded body. This has given rise to this family of caterpillars being known as ‘loopers’.”

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    • These are in the Noctuidae family so not closely related. I watched this one for a while this afternoon to see if it did indeed loop but after 20 minutes in the hot sun I gave in and left it to continue feeding. As you can see, it has a full set of prolegs so chances are I would have been disappointed by its walk.
      And I am embarrassed to discover that I did not identify the species in the narrative. Cucullia florea-Gray hooded-owlet. It’s in the tags but should have been ID’d below one of the images. I’ll correct that next. I need to step up my word component.

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  11. Very nice Steve! Great detail on the caterpillars!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Todd Henson says:

    Nice. I like that stretching photo but it’s the top one I keep going back to. It just looks odd with it curled in half like that. Wish I were that flexible. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You and me both, brother. I am so stiff now. I can still curl up while sleeping but not in most other circumstances. I found it interesting to see these caterpillars curled at the top of the flower. This wasn’t the first like this. I don’t know if many others curl or not but these apparently do.

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