Odds and ends

I am still waiting for the black swallowtail caterpillar to emerge. It should be any day now.

In the meantime,  check out the destructive and most annoying gypsy moth caterpillars, killed by Entomophaga maimaiga, a fungus that needs rain to work. And we have had just the right amount of rain for it to get the job done. The caterpillars hang upside down, often forming v shapes, when they are dead. Now our trees can start to recover. Woo Hoo!

And on a totally unrelated topic, horseshoe crab mating season is nearly over, but I had a chance to see some late- mating crabs on a recent visit to Napatree Point, in Westerly, R.I. While still attached, they swam up into the shallow water, allowing us to get good long looks at them.

The female on the bottom is older than eight years, because she has stopped molting, and organisms like barnacles are beginning to grow on her shell. This arthropod looks like a fossil, and it is is as old as one – about 450 million years. They have been over harvested for bait and medical testing, but here in R.I., a new-ish management plan will, we hope, boost their numbers.



About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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2 Responses to Odds and ends

  1. lesleymclaughlin says:

    Fascinating blog – covers a lot territory! We had less rain up here. I spent the past week knocking the ‘pilars off the trunks of our two big maples. Less “crunch” underfoot on the driveway, though!


    • dirtynailz says:

      We weren’t hit too badly in this part of the state, and hopefully, the fungus will keep their numbers down next summer!
      Love your “crunch” description!


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