Lophocampa maculata - Development Sequence and observations - Lophocampa maculata
Elkton, Douglas County, Oregon, USA
September 23, 2011
09-23-11: Again the cats want to make a liar of me. Yesterday's wanderer began its trek at 11:45 AM, and an earnest walkabout approximately 1:00 PM. Given previous walkabout durations, I didn't expect pupation to start until perhaps 9:00 AM this morning to just before bedtime tonight. Well, this cat began pupating just 10 hours after starting to wander. Go figure!
In spite of expecting a drawn out walkabout, I continually checked on the cat. By 6:00 PM, the cat was settled in under the maple leaf. This time I didn't disturb it. At 7:57 PM, still under the leaf, I noticed it bobbing its head about. I carefully checked, and yes, it had just started spinning its cocoon. I photographed it every 10 to 15 minutes, until 11:45 PM, for a total of 17 images. The pupa was probably 80 - 90 % complete by then. I took one final image this morning. Time to actually build the cocoon was 4+ hours. This cat will now be referred to as CC5. I plan to transfer it to a private pupation container this afternoon.
A note on the head-bobbing: when spinning its cocoon, the cat's head bobs the same way it does while on walkabout. I wonder if the walkabout head-bobbing might have something to do with stimulating the glands in the head that produce silk.
The remaining two cats were again lazing around, one on maple, one on plum. Both are still eating and frassing well. Big-leaf maple was again the favorite, though a few nibbles were also taken from the plum. I'm still anticipating all cats to have cocooned by Monday.
Images of this individual: tag all