Lophocampa maculata - Development Sequence and observations - Lophocampa maculata
Elkton, Douglas County, Oregon, USA
July 22, 2011
07-20-11: Perhaps a point of interest: rearing temperature is between 65 and 68F.
I've decided to see if the kind of plum tree makes a difference. I have three kinds, that I know of, in the yard: Santa Rosa from a nursery, an Italian plum also from a nursery and the plum from Portland they're now feeding on. I should be able to find out quickly if any plum will do. From what I've seen so far, when they like their food, they stay on it; if they don't like what I give them, they wander all around looking for something to eat.
Don't know where they were hiding, but a new headcount showed 8 cats, up from 6.
7-21-11: The cats are turning more and more a pale yellow. Gathered various plum leaves for my experiment.
7-22-11: I had added one cleaned leaf each of Santa Rosa plum, Italian plum and wild(?) plum. (I clean each leaf so I don't inadvertently introduce a predator - a blunder that has ruined several rearing projects.) This morning I found one cat on Santa Rosa plum, 2 cats on Italian plum, 5 on wild plum from Portland. By the end of the day, there were no cats on Santa Rosa, 2 on Italian, 6 on wild plum. Since then, no cats went back to the Santa Rosa; periodically one or two cats were on the Italian plum; most of the time, everyone was on the wild plum. It appears that in spite of the cats being willing to taste all plums, they seem to prefer the wild plum. I dumped all the Santa Rosa and Italian plum leaves, and the cats are now all feeding on wild plum.
Several cats sprouted white hairs, fore and aft. If my segment count is correct, those same caterpillars also had darkened and enlarged spots on segment 3 (starting from behind the head) and segments 9, 10 and11. Little black hairs are emerging from the darkened spots. The spots on the sides are also more pronounced.
Images of this individual: tag all