If you wondered what the insect eggs from last week's post hatched into, here's a peek at the tiny caterpillar. To give you a sense of scale, I placed it on a white paper towel with a human hair.
Check out how big the head capsule is in relation to its body.
This looping behavior suggests it is a cabbage looper caterpillar.
I scooped it up with a fine paintbrush and put it back on a plant when I was done. Maybe it will grow into one of these:
Insect eggs can be quite mysterious and amazing.
Unfortunately these photos don't show well, but the eggs are covered with ridges and grooves, and sparkle with minature rainbows.
We found them attached to an acacia leaf. The next day they hatched into tiny caterpillars.
Have you ever found insect eggs? Try looking at some under a magnifying lens or microscope.
Edit: If you want to see what these eggs hatched into, check here.
Because we were eager to participate in International Rock Flipping Day, we peeked under some rocks in our yard this morning.
Flipping rocks was somewhat disappointing at first. It has been the third driest summer on record in central Arizona, and because the summer is when we normally get most of our precipitation, we are really dry. The terms dry as a bone, parched, and desiccated come to mind. Most of the rocks we looked under would normally have isopods (rolypolies), ants or earwigs, but we didn't see any of those. Occasionally we might see a scorpion. We didn't see any of those either.
What we did find was this:
Any ideas what might cause these white tunnels? I'll give you a hint: it isn't a type of spider, although it is made of silk.
In fact, the tunnels are made by an insect. Here are some photos I took of one earlier this summer.
Does anyone remember what it was?
(If you want to find out the answer, check this previous post.)
All in all, we saw something we wouldn't have otherwise seen, and realized how much the lack of rain is changing the environment for even tiny things that live under rocks. And best of all, we got outside and had some fun.
What did you find?