Monday, 5 September 2011

Woolly Bears

I found this little guy trying to cross a busy patheway.
So, we picked him up, made a few pictures of him/her and moved him/her to some brush next to the side of the road.
This little "Wooly Bear" is all black and that may have an ominous meaning:

According to old folklore and the Farmers Almanac, the severity of the upcoming winter is indicated by the amount of black found on these woolly bears. You can tell how severe the winter will be by the ratio of red to black banding on these guys. Plenty of red means a mild winter; wide black bands with few red segments points to a nasty snow season.
I found this all-black woolly bear;
I wonder what this winter will bring?

This woolly bear caterpillar is the larval stage of the Isabella Tiger Moth, (I do not know this for sure but that is what various google sites told me!).
 To survive the winter (whether a mild or cold one) this little guy can manufacture is its very own antifreeze, called cryoprotectant in its tissues.
These caterpillar’s are also able to self medicate themselves by eating alkaloid-laden leaves that help to fight off parasitic fly larva that can be laid inside their abdomens.
Despite all this “technology” they are still pretty cute!

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