Friday, July 22, 2011

Halysidota Harrisii (Yippee)!!

I saw 5 of them today! 0_0 Being that it was like 114 degrees definitely had something to do with it. They were huge and covering a Sycamore tree a few blocks from my place. Not to mention they were the color of sunshine......

So all together that makes 7 so far. Never saw so many in one spot in one day before. Thank you!!

And thanks to Bugguide I can now sort of pinpoint their time frame. In other words when I can hunt them down and see them more frequently next year:

Overwinter as cocoons, adults emerge in May and June and lay eggs on the underside of leaves or bark of sycamore. Young larvae feed in groups, they scatter later.

- Bugguide

I see the larvae more then the adults. Last adult I saw was on mom's birthday (I think) last year on the terrace. I wasn't able to get to it due to it being locked (the terrace) and I didn't have a key. *Makes note to ask housing for a key to the terrace.

Caterpillars in General:

9 including 1 Pieris rapae and 1 unknown Geometrid
7 Halysidota harrisii, First 2 (2nd or 3rd instar)?Link
Hope to see more naturally. Also something I've noticed about Halysidota species in general is that larvae are extremely variable in color! I remember years and years ago seeing H. tessellaris walking on a picnic bench at camp (Starfish I think it was........or was it Ramapo (sp?) Idk....). I remember getting excited and kinda disappointed because at the time I thought I couldn't hold due the whole "irritant hairs" things.

I was still learning about insects so I didn't know better. That's not to say I didn't look at it and very lightly (I think, don't remember) brushed my finger across it's back. It was the grey and black form (do they name the varieties?).

Last time I saw H. tessellaris but I'll keep my eyes open if I ever go upstate again (highly unlikely though). I love my precious babies.

I wonder if the heat also rushed along their development??? It's happened before when I raised Vanessa cardui! =) Aaahh the good old days.....

Photo from Bugguide.

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