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Tussock moth caterpillar

Tussock moth caterpillar
Photo Information
Copyright: kapil koltharkar (kapildk) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 181 W: 32 N: 502] (3197)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-16
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon coolpix L110
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/30 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-04-09 4:16
Viewed: 3218
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi Friends,
Again one more beautiful caterpillar in my album. I got the I here. The sharpness is not perfect but you will definately like the haircut of this caterpillar.

Lymantriidae is a family of moths. Many of its component species are referred to as "Tussock moths" of one sort or another. The caterpillar, or larval, stage of these species often has a distinctive appearance of alternating bristles and haired projections. Like other families of moths, many Tussock Moth caterpillars have urticating hairs (often hidden among longer, softer hairs) which can cause painful reactions if they come into contact with skin.

The family Lymantriidae includes about 350 known genera and over 2,500 known species found all over the world, in every continent except Antarctica. They are particularly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, India, Southeast Asia and South America; one estimate lists 258 species in Madagascar alone (Schaefer, 1989). Apart from oceanic islands, notable places that do not host Lymantriids include New Zealand, the Antilles, and New Caledonia (Schaefer , 1989).

Adult moths of this family do not feed. They usually have muted colours (browns and greys), although some are white, and tend to be very hairy. Some females are flightless, and some have reduced wings. Usually the females have a large tuft at the end of the abdomen. The males, at least, have tympanal organs (Scoble, 1995). They are mostly nocturnal, but Schaefer (1989) lists 20 confirmed diurnal species and 20 more likely diurnal species (based on reduced eye size).

The larvae are also hairy, often with hairs packed in tufts, and in many species the hairs break off very easily and are extremely irritating to the skin (especially members of the genus Euproctis; Schaefer, 1989). This highly effective defence serves the moth throughout its life cycle as the hairs are incorporated into the cocoon, from where they are collected and stored by the emerging adult female at the tip of the abdomen and used to camouflage and protect the eggs as they are laid. In others, the eggs are covered by a froth that soon hardens, or are camouflaged by material the female collects and sticks to them (Schaefer, 1989). In the larvae of some species, hairs are gathered in dense tufts along the back and this gives them the common name of tussocks or tussock moths.

Lymantria means "defiler", and several species are important defoliators of forest trees, including the gypsy moth Lymantria dispar, the douglas-fir tussock moth Orgyia pseudotsugata, and the Nun Moth Lymantria monacha. They tend to have broader host plant ranges than most Lepidoptera. Most feed on trees and shrubs, but some are known from vines, herbs, grasses and lichens (Schaefer, 1989).

pegos, maaciejka, lousat, cobra112 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2012-04-09 4:48]

Hello Kapil,
beautiful macro shot with good sharpness and excellent lightness; nice natural colours and ambientation. Well done!
PS the sparrowhawk is yawning!

hello Kapil
very good picture with great details and beautiful colours
thanks greeting lou

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2012-04-09 6:19]

Very strange looking caterpillar, well captured. tfs.

Hi Kapil,
what an interesting caterpillar.
Amazing colours. Great composition. Perfect point of view.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-04-09 11:01]

Hello Kapil.
A very good macro showing sharpness and detail of the subject in this pic. I like the DOF, Lighting and BG also.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-04-09 14:53]

Hi Kapil.Magnificent capture,i like your point of view to see so well the design of this specie,great details and beautiful colors too!Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano.

Ciao Kapil. Good details and shapr for the strange caterpillar. Beuatiful tender colours.


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