Monday, November 15, 2010

Hibernating Larvae

Photos taken in the wild on Sat Nov 13th, captions below -

1 This larva went into hibernation whilst still green, which is most unusual, and survived approximately 1 week before (apparently) succumbing to predation. I could spot it at 3m. It might have survived better had it chosen a greener stem or aligned itself to a yellow-green bud.

2 Most larvae assume this charcoal grey colour before they come off the leaves. They then match the grey bark well. This larva is in the airport departure lounge.

3 If they settle next to a live bud they change colour to this yellow-green form within about a week.

4 So, this grey larva, which had been in hibernation here for less than a week, should quite quickly turn yellow-green.

I'm only following nine wild larvae in hibernation at present, scattered in several woods. I may find two or three more, but the egg lay was poor (about 1/3rd of 2009's) and the pre hibernation survival rate seems to have been lower than in 09 (I have yet to analyse the data).

Finally brethren, with regard to England's magnificent victory on the rugby pitch on Saturday (which I listed to whilst caterpillaring): why can you never find an Australian when you need one? They simply disappear... .

1 comment:

dennis said...

great pics, M; yes, they produce a fascinating range of shades of grey/green/brown; what clever little fellows they are............except your silly green one, of course.
I'm also looking for an aussie without luck so far;have you tried the earl's court road yet?