Sunday, July 26, 2009

Macro Monday: Woollybear Caterpillar

It is only July here in Minnesota but the unseasonal weather that we had earlier this month has made me already begin to think about fall. Fall is my favorite season of the year. Fall is the time of the year when many birds migrate through on their way south, the weather is usually very pleasant, and the countryside comes alive with fall colors. Even though we have had some fall like weather fall is still a ways away because it can not be fall until the banded woolly bears come out.
The banded woolly bear is the larval form of the Isabella tiger moth. It is called a woolly bear because of the long bristles, setae, which resemble fur. Banded woolly bear caterpillars emerge from their egg in the fall, which is why they are a good indicator for the fall season. They will spend the winter in their larval form, producing a biological antifreeze to help them survive the cold. When things warm up again they will eat and then spin a cocoon. The emerged Isabella tiger moth will live out through the summer reproducing the next generation.

13 comments:

Tranquility said...

These little guys are so cute - I used to find them all the time as a kid, but haven't seen them at all in years!

Lin said...

I love caterpillars! He's really cute!

Carletta said...

You've given us some great information.
I think they look cute and wholly. As a child I could not make myself pick one up - still can't.
Nice macros!

Maria said...

Hi!
I did not know all this about our little woolly bears! The Isabella Tiger Moth... What a grand name!
All the best
~Maria

Rachael said...

You're feeling the fall already? I knew I needed to convince my hubby to migrate north. I think with humidity today it was over 90 degrees. I lasted about 2 hours hiking this morning, before I called it quits. Love the pillar, keep those insects coming!

mitt vattenhål said...

Once again lovely closeups :-)
Really look wooly and soft

Gallicissa said...

Lovely pics and post. Seasonal changes in your country is fascinating.

Abe Lincoln said...

The wooly worms are out?

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bettyl said...

What an adorable little critter!!

June said...

I had a friend who did her thesis on these critters...and yes, it's been a "chilly" summer. I've enjoyed it, but it does make me wonder if this means an extra cold winter...

Russ said...

Nice! Makes me think, I've not seen a fuzzy caterpillar in a long time myself...

Sarah said...

Oh I love the Fall too - can't wait!! The pics are wonderful! We don't have wooly worms here..used to in NC though. Love your blog!!! Sarah

Regina said...

Amazing macro!