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1st instar caterpillars - 8/20/08 - Noctua pronuba

1st instar caterpillars - 8/20/08 - Noctua pronuba
Florence, Massachusetts, USA
August 20, 2008
Size: 2 mm
On 8/17 I collected a sugar maple leaf with a large cluster of what I was (and am) pretty sure were noctuid eggs. On 8/20 (last night) they had hatched into these little fuzzy caterpillars that look, and move, like inchworms, but have an extra set of prolegs. A quick look at Wagner's book leads me to conclude these are some kind of looper (Noctuidae: Plusiinae), which apparently means I have only 50 species to choose from. I'll try to rear them, but after 24 hours they haven't shown any interest in maple leaves (sugar or red)...

Update: on 8/22 (morning) I gave them leaves of paper birch, raspberry, and cultivated bean. When I got home, I found they had been munching away at the bean leaf, but hadn't touched any of the other leaves. I guess they're probably one of those garden pest varieties of noctuids, but I'm hoping to find something not from the garden that they will eat. This evening I added leaves of Solomon's seal and red clover.

Images of this individual: tag all
1st instar caterpillars - 8/20/08 - Noctua pronuba Caterpillar - 8/22/08 - Noctua pronuba Caterpillar - 9/3/08 - Noctua pronuba Caterpillar - 9/14/08 - Noctua pronuba Caterpillar - 9/27/08 - Noctua pronuba Caterpillar - 10/6/08 - Noctua pronuba Caterpillar - 10/11/08 - Noctua pronuba


Nice series, Charley
May I suggest you edit the titles to include the dates, so each one doesn't have to be opened to get the whole story?

Great idea
I never thought of that before. I will do it for some of my series. Thanks.

Good idea
Will do.

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