Saturday, October 23, 2010

Woolly Caterpillar

Every Fall I watch for the woolly caterpillar to appear in the roads-I try not to run over them. SHusband told that some say the bigger the woolly, the worse the winter. Today, for the first time this season, I saw 5 while driving into town. I managed not to run over any of them (I think) as they inch-wormed across the roads.

I took this picture from wikipedia, and according to them, folklore has it that the thicker/more black hair the woolly has is used as a harbinger of a
bad-weather winter, but in fact some larvae from the same clutch have variations in color, some more orange/red, some more black.

They emerge from their eggs in the fall, and winter in the caterpillar form, they emit a cryoprotectant chemical into their tissues during the winter, and then when the weather turns warmer, they eat all the grass and weeds they can, and turn into the pupa stage and then into a beautiful yellow Isabella Tiger moth:
Thank you Wiki, and where can I get some of that cryoprotectant chemical for our upcoming winter? It would be nice if it was Tim Hortons coffee!

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