Monday, March 23, 2015

Welcome Spring

Woolly Bear Caterpillar
Last Friday was the first day of Spring. Here in Minnesota mid March does not typically look like Spring, especially the past couple of year. We often still have a lot of snow on the ground and temps that barely reach above freezing. This year has been different though. This winter we have had very little snow and with a couple of weeks with temps in the fifties and even some sixties most of what we had has already melted, although we just got another coating last night. With the warm spring like weather we have been having I have even begun to see woolly bear caterpillars come out of hibernation.
Woolly Bear Caterpillar
The woolly bear caterpillar is the larval form of the Isabella tiger moth. Woolly bear caterpillars are found in paces with colder climates, including the Arctic. They over Winter in their caterpillar form by producing cryprotectant in their tissues. This natural anti freeze allows them to freeze solid over the winter. When the weather warms up they thaw up, pupate and become an Isabella Tiger moth. They will then lay eggs that will hatch in the early fall starting the process over again.


SeaThreePeeO said...

Fascinating. Fantastic pictures.

Karin M. said...

... a fascinating motive ... super ...
Greetings, Karin

A Colorful World said...

I used to see these as a child in Maryland! Hadn't seen a photo of one in a long time, and I never knew what kind of moth they became! Interesting about their hibernation. Thanks!