My fascination with the natural world began at an early age (probably 2). I love it all, especially bugs! One of my very first experiences with them was getting a very sharp pinch on my little finger from an irritated grubworm I'd picked up. My favorite thing to do outside on sunny days was....you guessed it! Collect bugs! Sadly, the majority of my collection succumbed to age and damage from other bugs eating it. I still have some insects that I've framed myself, however, and I'm proud to say that they are still really nice considering they're over 15 years old. The Polyphemus moth I raised from a caterpillar is the one I'm most proud of; my dad and I caught it when it was just about ready to pupate. It started building its cocoon that very day after munching on oak leaves, and the next day if you tapped the jar you could hear it moving about inside its case. Eventually it got to the point where it no longer moved about. Being inexperienced with this type of thing, we thought it had died. We left it for several days, just in case, but when no moth ever emerged we decided to empty out the jar. I wanted to see what the pupa looked like, so we cut open the cocoon to get a look. The pupa, still cradled in its, now opened, cocoon was put into a plastic bag and placed on a shelf to remind me to read about it later. The bag was left open, and in the midst of watching tv, I glanced at the bag to find that the moth had emerged! Everybody was surprised it had developed enough! It is proudly displayed in my room, to this day. Sadly I didn't think to keep the cocoon with it. It was discarded.
Through much reading I've garnered, what I would call, a basic understanding regarding many insects. But I'm by no means an expert, and my knowledge is mostly based on factual information! I have a good book collection, so if I don't know something I will try to look it up.
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