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Thaumetopoea pityocampa

Thaumetopoea pityocampa
Photo Information
Copyright: Nikos Roditakis (NikosR) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 3 N: 447] (3436)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2015-02-26
Categories: Insects
Camera: Olympus mini E-PM1
Exposure: f/20.0, 1/100 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2015-02-26 10:23
Viewed: 885
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Thaumetopoea pityocampa Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775
Lepidoptera: Thaumetopoeidae
Common name: pine processionary

T. pityocampa is a very common insect of cretan fauna attacking pine forests. I found this larvae on vine trunk during pruning today. T. pityocampa is one of the most destructive species to pines and cedars. The urticating hairs of the caterpillar larvae cause harmful reactions in humans and other mammals. The species is notable for the behaviour of its caterpillars, which overwinter in tent-like nests high in pine trees, and which process through the woods in nose-to-tail columns, protected by their severely irritating hairs.

The life cycle of the pine processionary is normally annual but may extend over 2 years at high altitude or in northern latitudes for part or the whole of the population. The life cycle has two phases, the adult, egg and caterpillar being aerial and the pupa hypogeal.Moths lay their eggs high on pine trees. After hatching, the larvae go through five instars, eating pine needles. They build white silken nests to maintain ideal living conditions. Around the end of March the caterpillars are ready to leave their nests and move down the tree in a characteristic procession. They dig underground and pupate, emerging at the end of the summer. High numbers of adults are produced in years with a warm spring.

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To dryas: Thanks for commentsNikosR 1 02-28 04:23
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Nikos,
I haven't seen this insect before here in TN.
Very well presentation with good details and color.
Good work......
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice WE,

Hello Nikos,
this carterpillar is not harmless , can cause rashes and respiratory problems.
In Flanders Thaumetopoea processionea , lives on oak in the same manner as in your description.
Very nice and sharp shot.

Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • hsn6a Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 0 N: 435] (8652)
  • [2015-02-28 1:39]

Hello Nikos,
nice capture thaumetopoea,regards..

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