Sunday, November 20, 2011

Woolly Bear Caterpillar!

Gregory and I have been living on Salt Spring Island for about three weeks now. Last week we went for a walk to explore the area, and ended up waking on a trail in the forest. The trail goes all the way to the top of Reginald Hill, which overlooks Fulford Harbour.

Taken by Greg at the top of the hill.

On the way there I discovered a super cute and fuzzy little animal that excited me. Gregory was taking photos along the way and managed to capture my surprise to find this little guy nestled amongst the grass blades.


Gasp! 




Sooo fuzzy!

This little caterpillar is called the Woolly Bear because it seems like they have furry bodies. It's not actually fur that's covering them and keeping them warm in the Winter, but hair-like bristles. I knelt down to get this close-up photo as the caterpillar checked out his surroundings. These caterpillars have this mass of fuzzy-like bristles because they live in cold places and live throughout the Winter. They have a special substance that keep them from freezing entirely, although they are in-active during the Winter. Once the weather gets warmer in the Spring, these fuzzy caterpillars wake up from their hibernation-like nap and start doing one thing: eating! They spend the Spring, Summer, and Fall eating, eating, and eating some more. They eats all sorts of different plants and a few years ago National Geographic said that these smart insects will eat more of a medicine-like leaf that makes their sick tummies all better. The Woolly Bear Caterpillar has a sick tummy when flies lay eggs inside the caterpillar's bellies! But, after eating this special leaf (that is related to caffeine) the fly eggs are defeated! These caterpillars live for over a decade before turning into the Isabella Tiger Moth.

2 comments:

  1. Very informative Nicole! I learn lots from your blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. love! had no idea they lived in this stage beyond one season

    ReplyDelete

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