Wednesday, September 10, 2014

'pillars of the community

Photos by Matt Ball 9/4/2014

This photo by Ned Harris 9/5/2014

My Honey-Matt and I went hiking on the Esperero Trail and came across literal fields of White-lined Sphinx Moth larvae (commonly known as caterpillars : -) Click on the top photo for a larger view and note the yellow lines on nearly every plant. Multiply that by 100 and you'll have a sense of what we experienced several times on our hike. (The tail is the tail end.)
The caterpillars are eating their way to bigness. If they don't get eaten, stepped on, or washed away by floods, these caterpillars will pupate in shallow ground burrows. During the pupa stage, they'll take themselves apart and rebuild into moths that are often mistaken for hummingbirds. Look for the moths later this month. I predict a bumper crop!

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