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The Georgicks of Virgil, with an English Translation and Notes Virgil, John Martyn Ipsi in defossis specubus secura sub alta Otia agunt terra, congestaque robora, Pierius says it is confecto in the Roman manuscript. And Tacitus also says the Germans used to make caves to defend them from the severity of winter, .

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Without this fungus present to keep their numbers in check, Gypsy Moths have flourished. Although there was some rain this spring, there were many areas that did not get enough to benefit the fungus, and in these areas, trees are now stripped of their leaves. It is possible in places in southern New England to track the pattern of rainfall simply by looking at where trees are still in full leaf. The larvae of the first generation mature in July, and the second generation matures from late August into October. Calico Paint larvae are often found on aster and goldenrod plants, resting on stems often head down in plain sight during the day.

First generation larvae feed on the leaves and the second generation consumes the flowers of these plants. The comparatively drab, brown adult moths they turn into can often be found on Wild Bergamot and Common Milkweed flowers in the early evening. Thanks to Joan Waltermire for photo op. These caterpillars come in all sizes and shapes.

Among them is the Saddleback Caterpillar, which is much more colorful than the brown adult moth it eventually turns into. Saddleback Caterpillars are best known for their stinging urticating spines. Reputedly far worse than that of a bee, the sting of the Saddleback Caterpillar may be the most potent of any North American caterpillar. Soon these caterpillars will be spinning cocoons which can contain spines, as well in which they will pupate until emerging as moths next spring. Thanks to Rick Palumbo for photo op. Female milkweed tussock moths lay their eggs in masses on the underside of milkweed and dogbane leaves, which their larvae will eat.

The hatching caterpillars are gray and hairy, but in no time they have developed the tufts of hairs that give them their name and make them resemble little mops. When still fairly young, the siblings stay together, skeletonizing the leaves they consume, leaving only the strongest veins that contain sticky latex. At this point they often cut through a vein in order to prevent the latex from reaching the area of the leaf where they are feeding. Older monarch caterpillars use this same tactic.

If you open one of these balls, you may find frass — droppings from the immature insect that was dwelling within the ball while consuming the terminal leaflets of the fern. Many species of ferns, as well as other plants, are host to many species of larvae, and many of these larvae are immature moths. Pictured is Christmas Fern, Polystichum acrostichoides , which is likely the host of the larva of Herpetograma sphingealis , the Serpentine Webworm Moth, or its close relative, H.

Larvae live in these shelters for about a month before pupating and emerging as small, brown moths.

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Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Sign me up! Click to order my first book, a photographic guide for children entitled Milkweed Visitors. Naturally Curious with Mary Holland An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide.

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Upcoming Programs. Like this: Like Loading Naturally Curious Email Subscription Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Join 10, other followers Sign me up! Donate to Naturally Curious. Click here to order Naturally Curious Day by Day. Search Naturally Curious Blog Posts. The propensity for damage is enhanced by monocultural farming practices, especially where the caterpillar is specifically adapted to the host plant under cultivation. The cotton bollworm causes enormous losses. Other species eat food crops. Caterpillars have been the target of pest control through the use of pesticides , biological control and agronomic practices.

Many species have become resistant to pesticides. Bacterial toxins such as those from Bacillus thuringiensis which are evolved to affect the gut of Lepidoptera have been used in sprays of bacterial spores, toxin extracts and also by incorporating genes to produce them within the host plants. These approaches are defeated over time by the evolution of resistance mechanisms in the insects. Plants evolve mechanisms of resistance to being eaten by caterpillars, including the evolution of chemical toxins and physical barriers such as hairs.

Incorporating host plant resistance HPR through plant breeding is another approach used in reducing the impact of caterpillars on crop plants. Some caterpillars are used in industry. The silk industry is based on the silkworm caterpillar. Caterpillar hair can be a cause of human health problems. Caterpillar hairs sometimes have venoms in them and species from approximately 12 families of moths or butterflies worldwide can inflict serious human injuries ranging from urticarial dermatitis and atopic asthma to osteochondritis , consumption coagulopathy , renal failure, and intracerebral hemorrhage.

Caterpillar hair has also been known to cause kerato - conjunctivitis. The sharp barbs on the end of caterpillar hairs can get lodged in soft tissues and mucous membranes such as the eyes. Once they enter such tissues, they can be difficult to extract, often exacerbating the problem as they migrate across the membrane.

This becomes a particular problem in an indoor setting. The hair easily enter buildings through ventilation systems and accumulate in indoor environments because of their small size, which makes it difficult for them to be vented out. This accumulation increases the risk of human contact in indoor environments. Caterpillars are a food source in some cultures. For example, in South Africa mopane worms are eaten by the bushmen , and in China silkworms are considered a delicacy.

In the Old Testament of the Bible caterpillars are feared as pest that devour crops. They are part of the "pestilence, blasting, mildew, locus" because of their association with the locust , thus they are one of the plagues of Egypt. Jeremiah names them as one of the inhabitants of Babylon.


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The English word caterpillar derives from the old French catepelose hairy cat but merged with the piller pillager. Caterpillars became a symbol for social dependents. Shakespeare 's Bolingbroke described King Richard 's friends as "The caterpillars of the commonwealth, Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away". In William Blake referenced this popular image in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell when he attacked priests: "as the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lay his curse on the fairest joys". The role of caterpillars in the life stages of butterflies was badly understood.

In Maria Sibylla Merian published the first volume of The Caterpillars' Marvelous Transformation and Strange Floral Food , which contained 50 illustrations and a description of insects, moths, butterflies and their larvae. When Merian published her study of caterpillars it was still widely believed that insects were spontaneously generated. Butterflies were regarded as symbol for the human soul since ancient time, and also in the Christian tradition.

As such he argued that the metamorphosis from caterpillar into butterfly was a symbol, and even proof, of Christ's resurrection. He argued "that from dead caterpillars emerge living animals; so it is equally true and miraculous, that our dead and rotten corpses will rise from the grave. Since then the metamorphoses of the caterpillar into a butterfly has in Western societies been associated with countless human transformations in folktales and literature.

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There is no process in the physical life of human beings that resembles this metamorphoses, and the symbol of the caterpillar tends to depict a psychic transformation of a human. As such the caterpillar has in the Christian tradition become a metaphor for being "born again". When Alice comments on the caterpillar's inevitable transformation into a butterfly, the caterpillar champions the position that in spite of changes it is still possible to know something, and that Alice is the same Alice at the beginning and end of a considerable interval.

Descartes argued that we are distracted by urgent bodily stimuli that swamp the human mind in childhood. Descartes also theorised that inherited preconceived opinions obstruct the human perception of the truth. More recent symbolic references to caterpillars in popular media include the Mad Men season 3 episode "The Fog", in which Betty Draper has a drug-induced dream, while in labor, that she captures a caterpillar and holds it firmly in her hand.

Caterpillar of the spurge hawk-moth , near Binn , Valais , Switzerland at c. Caterpillar of the emperor gum moth. A poplar hawk-moth caterpillar a common species of caterpillar in the UK. Life cycle of the red-humped caterpillar Schizura concinna. Forest tent caterpillar Malacosoma disstria. Camouflage: apparently with eight eyes, only two of them are real. Photo in a eucalyptus tree, Sao Paulo , Brazil.

Caterpillars on an apple tree in Victoria, British Columbia , Canada.

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Caterpillar of great orange tip resembling the common green vine snake Ahaetulla nasuta. Prepupa of cabbage looper in its cocoon.

Locomotion of a small Geometrid caterpillar. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Caterpillar disambiguation. Ant tending a lycaenid caterpillar. Dryas iulia. A text-book of agricultural entomology: being a guide to methods of insect life and means of prevention of insect ravage for the use of agriculturists and agricultural students. Forest and Shade Tree Entomology.

Houghton Mifflin Company, Merriam-Webster, n. September University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department.

A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from around the World

Retrieved 19 September The Lepidoptera: Form, function and diversity. Oxford Univ. Journal of Insect Physiology. Duman Lee, R. Nauman, L. Kukal, O. Cryo Letters. Bibcode : Sci Tavares, And Antonio C. What is a Butterfly. Chicago: Benefic Press. Journal of Experimental Biology. Australian museum Retrieved on Retrieved King Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society.

Ecological Entomology. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria.