Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hyles, 228/365

Hyles, 228/365, originally uploaded by Sophie_vf.

A nice plump hawkmoth caterpillar found by my daughter during our morning dog walk. She has a terrific eye for all kinds of natural things. I was pretty excited to see this, as in my previous life, I was a research technician and this insect is actually one of the biological control agents released to control leafy spurge that we used to rear in the lab, or rather my colleage did. (but I did have to throw them food when it was my turn to work weekends).

We are going to rear this one out to adulthood. The adult moth is pretty impressive. Hopefully all will go well - we've had problems in the past rearing out tent caterpillars (yes, I know, a pest) because they were parasitised by flies; so in fact, we ended up rearing parasitic flies. This one looks really healthy, though. We might end up having to overwinter it once it pupates, in which case it can reside safely in the vegetable crisper till ready for emergence and release in the spring. August 16.

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