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Thursday, October 28, 2010

You gotta see this

That is an insect. I know it doesn't look like one, in fact I wouldn't have thought it if I hadn't seen it moving. But it is a larva (caterpillar).

We had stopped to get gas and Hubby told us all to come look at an insect he found on the outside of the car. While we aren't doing entomology with 4-H we still are interested in the curious insects that we see fairly often. We managed to capture it and then took it over to the forestry service because one of the men who led our entomology group works there.

He is a real entomologist. I am going to call him Mr Picante.

Anyway, Mr Picante was very interested in the insect. He said it was a Monkey Slug which will turn into a hag moth. He had not actually seen a live one before because they are fairly little (about the size of a nickle) and not something that you would typically notice.

He asked what we were going to do with it and really we had no idea. He said he would be interested in watching it go into a cocoon and then turn into a hag moth so we left it with him. He said he would email us pictures and keep us updated. He said that since it wasn't on a plant it may be very close to making a cocoon and he was right. Two days later the monkey slug made a cocoon, some of the "appendages" were broken off and then stuck to the cocoon by the larva as a camouflage.

I wouldn't want to touch it. It looks fungus-like to me.

Then the next day, hubby brought us a present.

This thing.


It is huge but maybe you can't tell because the picture is small.

Let me show you a larger picture.

That is a penny to give you an idea of the size. It is huge.

Thanks to our friends at the forestry service it was narrowed down to a Hurcules Beetle or a Rinocerous Beetle.

We are going to try to raise it to see what it grows up to be. Then again, if it doesn't live, we aren't really attached to it so we won't be sad.

'Cause we are still kind-of creeped out.