Cute, fuzzy, cannibalistic

6 Apr
Luna moth caterpillars on walnut leaves

Newly hatched caterpillars.

The luna caterpillars are still rocking along so far.  They eat like hungry hungry hippos so it’s a race to keep them well-foliated.  I’ve been making lots of trips down the street for more walnut leaves.  But how can you not love these sweet little faces?

Luna moth caterpillar close up.

Sweet little face.

Fun story:  Today when I was snipping of bits of leaves to move the caterpillars to fresh foliage I accidentally snipped one caterpillar in half.  (I did mention I’m terrible at caterpillars.)  Anyway, the two nearest  caterpillars immediately started chowing down on their dearly departed sibling like it was the best thing since bacon ice cream.  Then, apparently, they got so carried away they started trying to eat each other, and for the first time in my life I got to break up a caterpillar fight.

Luna moth caterpillar close up.

I’m fuzzy like a teddy bear!  And may also try to eat your face!

My caterpillars are a bit overcrowded at the moment, so I’m planning to spread them out across a few more containers.  On the other hand, I suspect if I don’t they’ll take care of the issue for me.

Luna actias Caterpillar on Quarter

First this quarter, next the WORLD.

>>The Luna Moth Saga

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3 Responses to “Cute, fuzzy, cannibalistic”

  1. Comment1 April 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    “I got to break up a caterpillar fight”

    Haha! I had no idea they could be like that!

    • 6legs2many April 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      I sort of knew in theory that caterpillars could be opportunistic cannibals, but it’s a completely different thing to actually see them take a nibble and then start wrestling and trying to chew out each others’ throats. Yeek.

  2. MI September 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    I’ve seen it with monarch butterfly caterpillars too. I learned not to keep eggs w/ already hatched caterpillars or keep larvae of different instars. The big ones will attack/kill/eat the smaller ones.

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