Thursday, August 21, 2008

Caterpillar Herding

Only three more days until Bug Fest(Sunday August 24th, 1-5 pm) and we are busily getting last minute things ready. I didn't count on caterpillar herding as one of my tasks!

My co-worker, Miranda, has been collecting caterpillars for the big event. She has an eagle eye and can spot them quite easily. She finds ones so tiny I would discount as just a mark on a leaf.

She has quite a collection going. We have a bunch of Monarch butterfly Caterpillars and then there are these cute little rascals called Milkweed Tussock Moths. These are the problem children. They can escape from their tank! And, today I have been having fun discovering all the places they are hiding. Its like a elaborate game of Where's Waldo? Luckily, these guys aren't too camouflaged. They eat milkweed and it makes them taste bad, so they advertise it with the orange and black markings.

This is the top of their cage, there is about 25 of them in this picture. And, boy are they voracious eaters.

This used to be a Common Milkweed plant. Notice the leaves are missing? They did this in one day!

Anyway, here are a few of the places I have found these guys today. I am so glad I am not a milkweed plant and that I am not one of their favorite foods!

One wanted to place a phone call. "Hello, 911, we are almost out of milkweed!"

One wanted to check my trash can to see if I threw away any important documents. Or milkweed.

One wanted to type a message. "M-o-r-e-M-i-l-k-w-e-e-d" it typed.

One wanted to see what I had for a snack. Yogurt, not milkweed, if you must know, you nosy thing!
One was on the staircase, "Any milkweed down there?"

And one was under my desk, trying to sever the power cord. I wouldn't have believed it, if I hadn't caught it in the act. Never turn your back on them!


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