20 de noviembre de 2021

List of Limacodidae found in WV

Limacodids with Past Records in WV:
Tortricidia testacea
Tortricidia pallida
Tortricidia flexuosa
Packardia geminata
Packardia elegans
Lithacodes fasciola
Apoda y-inversa
Apoda biguttata
Prolimacodes badia
Isochaetes beutenmuelleri
Phobetron pithecium
Natada nasoni
Isa textula
Adoneta bicaudata
Adoneta spinuloides
Euclea delphinii
Parasa chloris
Parasa indetermina
Acharia stimulea

Limacodids without past records in WV but are likely to occur within the state:
Heterogenea shurtleffi
Lithacodes fiskeanus
Monoleuca semifascia

Publicado el 20 de noviembre de 2021 a las 03:30 AM por tcooley tcooley | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Differentiating the Mature Larvae of Adoneta spinuloides (Purple-crested Slug) and Adoneta bicaudata (Long-horned Slug)

The mature larva of A. spinuloides (Purple-crested Slug)is an extremely colorful species of slug caterpillar, existing commonly throughout eastern North America, its current range. Although this larva is commonly mistaken as the only caterpillar of its kind in eastern North America, a second Adoneta, A. bicaudata, closely resembles A. spinuloides, occurring much less commonly. Because of its obscurity, it is a poorly known species and easily mistaken as A. spinuloides. Listed below are the best characters of distinction for the two:

(Please note that only mature larvae apply to these characters).

  1. The purple dorsal coloration of A. spinuloides exists as several blobs not related to each other in size, while the purple coloration in A. bicaudata is present as several diamond-shapes relatively similar to each other in size.
  2. The curved, posterior scoli of A. bicaudata are 2-3x longer than those of A. spinuloides, which are gumdrop-like.

Check out the links below to compare the two using the listed characteristics:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/100969319 (Adoneta spinuloides)
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/95589208 (Adoneta bicaudata)

Publicado el 20 de noviembre de 2021 a las 03:14 AM por tcooley tcooley | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Differentiating the Mature Larvae of Packardia geminata (Jeweled Tailed Slug) and P. elegans (Elegant Tailed Slug)

Although the adults of P. geminata and P. elegans are readily and easily differentiated, not resembling each other in the least respect, the larvae are often confused. The two may superficially resemble each but may be easily differentiated by examination of a few specific characteristics, which are listed below:

(Please note that these characters only apply to mature larvae).

  1. P. geminata is generally of a turquoise color overall, while P. elegans is generally of a yellow green coloration.
  2. P. geminata bears one straight, whitish subdorsal stripe on each side of the body, whereas those of P. elegans are rather yellowish and wavy.
  3. The tail of P. geminata is of body color dorsally, while that of P. elegans is usually red dorsally.

See the links below to compare the two based on the listed characteristics:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/92506730 (Packardia geminata)
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/94535148 (Packardia elegans)

Publicado el 20 de noviembre de 2021 a las 02:40 AM por tcooley tcooley | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

02 de octubre de 2021

Observations on larval development of the saddleback caterpillar (Acharia stimulea: Limacodidae)

A classic form of aposematism is found in the larvae of species Acharia stimulea, a bizarre member of family Limacodidae that occurs quite commonly in eastern North America. Mid- to late instars of this peculiar caterpillar are characterized by a conspicuous lime green dorsal "saddle" (hence the species' common name, the 'saddleback'), which is centered by a distinct black oval with a white peripherical ring. Two pairs of noticeable scoli exist at either end of the body, the uppermost scoli being considerably longer and more conspicuous. A long chain of warts outline the caterpillar, each of which is armed in dozens of poison-filled spines. These spines are undoubtedly an effective means of defense for the larva, causing severe rash and irritation in even humans who are unfortunate enough to come in contact with these poison-filled barbs. To the author, the sting is much like that of hand sanitizer on a wound but is longer lasting. Larvae are frequently gregarious, feeding in a noticeably polyphagous manner; while it appears this degree of feeding is greater than all other eastern North American slug caterpillars, this cannot be said for certain, as A. stimulea feeding records are probably observed much more frequently than those of other limacodids due to their abundance and aposematism. Adults of A. stimulea are likely the largest among eastern North American limacodids, the females capable of exceeding 2.0 cm in FW length from base to apex. Although female saddlebacks are the largest , the males may be equaled or exceeded in size by a few species (e.g., Prolimacodes or Parasa). The FW is chocolate brown in both sexes accompanied with several white spots in the apex and roughly the center of the wing (roughly the inner margin). The adults are attracted to lights, though they have been recorded as uncommon (Covell, 1984: 411) and are at least not nearly as common at lights as many other species (e.g., Apoda, Euclea). In comparison to most other eastern North American limacodids, females seem to be more common than usual. Inaturalist (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/122228-Acharia-stimulea) (accessed 06 October, 2021) records 124 males to 118 females. To put this in comparison, Inaturalist (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/136548-Euclea-delphinii) (accessed 06 October 2021), recording Euclea delfinii, another well-known limacodid in eastern North America, lists annotations for 633 males to 102 females. Most other species (e.g., Apoda biguttata and Isochaetes beutenmuelleri) follow the example of E. delphinii, indicating that males are considerably more abundant than females in most Limacodidae in eastern North America. Hence A. stimulea adults seem to stick out in regards to sex abundance from the rest of the group.

On September 06, 2021, a mid-instar A. stimulea was collected in Harrison County, WV, on Quercus alba (white oak) (see observation attached for more geographical information) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/94348839. The larva was subsequently reared on foliage from the same tree. Subsequently, various host plants were offered, which are as follows: Quercus alba, Q. velutina, Acer saccharum, Fraxinus americana, Celtis occidentalis, Ulmus rubra, Malus pumila, Yucca filamentosa, Morus alba, Juglans nigra, Cornus florida, Liriodendron tulipifera, Catalpa speciosa, and Prunus serotina. Of these, Q. rubra, Q. velutina, A. saccharum, F. americana, C. occidentalis, and M. alba were readily accepted by the larva. U. rubra, Y. filamentosa, J. nigra, C. speciosa, L. tulipifera and P. serotina were accepted, but reluctantly by the larva. Interestingly, the caterpillar would not eat M. pumila or C. florida. Age or condition of the foliage did not seem to be of significant importance, the larva going both to soft or hard foliage.

As any observer notes, the only notable area on the larva without spines is the dorsal saddle. The author decided to experiment with this 'Achilles' heel', and the results were quite interesting: a pencil tip was placed on the dorsal saddle, and the larva instantly bucked its spine-tipped scoli at the pencil, attempting to spine its supposed predator (see observation image 4). Hence this larva was extremely aggressive, well aware of its effective venom-filled weaponry.

Literature cited: Covell, Charles V. Eastern Moths. (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1984), 411.

Publicado el 02 de octubre de 2021 a las 02:09 AM por tcooley tcooley | 1 observación | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario