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Bug of the Week: Manduca rustica Caterpillar

Manduca rustica caterpillars usually feed high up in the desert willow tree and are hard to observe.

1-Manduca-rustica-caterpillar- 338This week one chose a low branch that was within easy reach.

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It was eating the willow leaves from tip to base.

 

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Can you see its legs, which is uses to hold onto the leaf? What about the antenna and eye, which are right by the mandibles?

The cream-colored oval behind the head is a spiracle. Spiracles are opening that allow air to pass into and out of the insect.

Have you ever watched a caterpillar eat a leaf? What kind was it?

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