Mickey Raine passed along his fascinating report on DeKorte Park caterpillars — just in time for Moth Night next Monday (July 21) and Butterfly Day on Sunday, July 27.
Here are the first of some highlights from Mickey’s post:
At DeKorte Park recently, we were greeted with a wonderful surprise–the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 1st stage instar and the 4th stage, also.
On the average, these early stage caterpillars are so incredibly tiny.
The 1st instar, resembling bird droppings (nature’s remarkable way of masking and protecting them), would only be about 3/8 inch at most, and Elaine, of course, had found five of them throughout the lower parts of this one Tulip Tree.
The 4th instar on the leaf with the silky web and more closely representing the full caterpillar appearance was about an inch long. We cannot help but smile when seeing the misleading “fake” eyes planted right near the top of the coat over the real head, the small reddish orange one that you see in one of the shots.