Friday, September 05, 2008

Alien invasion

You spot one giant fuzzy yellow caterpillar in your backyard, it's kind of fun. You spot a second one, and all of the sudden you start wondering if they're eating your roses or leaving poisonous spines in your daughter's play castle. So you do some googling, and you come up with this:

Apparently we have American Dagger Moth, Acronicta americana, caterpillars in our yard. They feed on maple and other hardwood tree leaves, so I guess the Oak Forest around our backyard is like a giant salad bar.

info above from, which is one of the coolest and most sensible names for a web site that I've seen in a long, long time. There are better photos here: The neon yellow ones are closest to our residents - they might as well have a huge "Birds - eat me! Toddlers - torment me!" sign hanging on their backs, they blend in so well with the foliage.

And they're harmless ... or so they say. Still, if you find me dead in the backyard and covered in furry yellow things, grab the Raid, okay?

1 comment:

mlf said...

Yet another option for being able to strike #42: Whole Insect from your omnivore list.

Then again, it is probably brightly colored to show the birds that it does not taste good. Same as Monarch butterflies which use their coloring to alert the birds not to eat them. I suggest sticking with cooking the katydids.