So I am still processing yesterday’s finds. This particular find was an exciting find for two reasons. First, I do not run across caterpillars in the Hesperiidae (skippers) family often. And second, certainly not this one. Indeed it was a very cool find! Thanks Jeanne for unrolling that leaf!
Isn’t it a beauty? Almost all of the skipper caterpillars have a narrow neck and a big head. All instars construct shelters. This particular species’ host plants are oaks. This one’s was a Blackjack.
Of course it came home with me for a predator-free environment. LOL It had rewrapped itself in the leaf. Here it is barely visible.
Sorry buddy, but you were destined to have your photograph taken.
A front view!
A dissecting scope view!
This was as close as I could get to its prolegs. I was wanting a shot of its crochets (hairs or hooklets at the end of prolegs) but it continued to stay flattened against the leaf. The crochets can help to identify some species of caterpillars. In skippers, the crochets are of two or three different lengths arranged in a circle.
Next up, I had to check if it fluoresced. So I was wondering if the head would. And the collar/neck were the brightest.
Sometimes it is hard to photograph some of the dull fluorescing but the head did have a dull fluorescing.
Finally, I caught it in action. After I petted it head, it would open its mandibles. So according to Wagner (Caterpillars of Eastern North America), almost all skippers overwinter as a partly to fully-fed larvae. Of course you can guess who is staying the winter with me! 🙂
The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.