While out walking, I started noticing large web-like cocoons on numerous bushes along the way. Upon a closer look, I saw that most of them were covered with many, many caterpillars.
I went back with my camera to photograph some of these caterpillars. It was quite windy and the bushes were constantly moving so it was very difficult to focus and shoot. Even those that came out a bit blurry were kind of interesting looking.
I imagine these are going to turn into moths, but I don’t know for sure. There were hundreds of these things and that will mean a lot of moths. I just hope they’re not the moths we used to get occasionally in Minnesota that would strip the trees of all their green leaves.
30 Replies to “Day 164 – Caterpillars”
So, according to my handy-dandy Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America, them be Western Tent Caterpillars which will mature to caterpillars in the light brown with two white stripes across the wings (side to side). They are very similar to the Eastern Tent Caterpillars but those moths tend more to the grey-brown.
Oddly enough, I have s bunch of caterpillar photos as well. which I hope to get to by this weekend.
Thanks for the info. I’ll have to keep an eye on them and see how they’re doing. Do you know how long it takes them to go from caterpillar to moth?
It does not say. Sorry. I’ve not searched the web, but I’m betting it’s probably listed somewhere.
Found this short article on Western Tent Caterpillars. Interesting creatures.
I forgot to attach the link. Here it is: http://www.wildpnw.com/2011/06/13/western-tent-caterpillars/#.T9nyaRd5Ep0
I’m not really a squeamish kind of person, but a lot of worms/caterpillars together tends to send a slight shiver down my spine… (not of delight, mind you!) 🙂 Nice pictures!! 🙂
We used to get army worms in Minnesota about every 10-11 years and they would cover the trees and strip them bare. That used to really make me squeamish. These weren’t so bad – they weren’t moving very fast. I was just amazed at how many cocoons there were.
Tent caterpillars are horrible. But I will try to appreciate their place in the world and their divine symmetry you brought forth in the photos!
I’ve been doing a little research on them. Found this link interesting: http://www.wildpnw.com/2011/06/13/western-tent-caterpillars/#.T9nyaRd5Ep0. They can be pretty awful I guess.
What a lovely capture.. to actually get them before entombed… maybe you will be lucky enough to catch them when they emerge… that would also make a magnificent blog, just as this one is…
From what I’ve read, they emerge about two weeks after going into the cocoon. I’ll have to keep an eye on them.
Must say caterpillars is my favorite bugs – but I’m sure they have a purpose here on earth too – still I have seen them on Nature programs on TV and they are very beautiful and all the different pattern and colors they come in. Just like your photos here. The top photo is my pick of the day.
I’ve been wanting to find a caterpillar to photograph. I got an abundance of them yesterday. Too bad it was so darned windy out. I’d have liked to be able to get up closer.
Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
I actually dislike creatures like this 😉 …but you captured them beautifully
WOW! Dear Maralee, I have seen caterpillars’ photographs before too BUT your photographs are so beautiful and extraordinary… standing like a jewerly… and the last one is like a painting, so artistic. You are amazing. Thank you dear, love, nia
They are pretty as caterpillars. From what I’ve read they’ll turn into brown moths and they can be quite destructive.
wow, my goodness, there sure are a lot, very interesting and beautiful.. : )
They are beautiful, but from what I’ve read, also very destructive. They will strip trees of their leaves.
oh dear, no that’s not good.
Lovely photo of a horrible and destructive beast that will strip every leaf off a tree overnight. They are feared by fruit tree farmers and all deciduous trees. I do believe they are on the hit list of things to remove and destroy before they hatch. Too bad they don’t go after tansy, scotch broom and himalayan blackberries. Westside OR they want us to cut the branch with the nest down and burn it (where legal) or put it in a black plastic bag, tie it securely shut and leave it in the sun to kill them.
I’ve read about how destructive they can be. I was going to notify some state agency about it but have no idea who that would be. It’s on private land but don’t know who owns it so I don’t think I can go in to destroy them. Plus there are so many.
Exactly. 😦 The nest should be destroyed before they hatch. The birds love them, so maybe a flock of starlings will swoop in and gobble them up. 😉
I contacted the County and they contacted the forest service and they contacted an animalism or something. We’ll see if anything gets done.
Such a long chain of going in circles. It might be the agriculture division. ? Glad you tried!
BTW those really are stunning photos. In the close up the caterpillars actually appear to glow and their many color variations are so beautiful.
It’s supposed to be a good weekend with some sun and a bit of warmth. Yea!
LOL.. I am with Joanna on this.. Great pictures even thought they gave me the willies.. Mind you I am not scared of them!!! As a kid I used to collect these little guys and call them pets.. 🙂
I’ve been wanting to find a caterpillar to photograph all spring. I guess I got my wish in spades. 🙂
In Texas we called them “webworms.” Despised those things.
I understand they’re pretty destructive. I haven’t seen any moths emerge yet.