Sunday, April 19, 2009

Productive Day!

I know what you're thinking!  How amazing and fascinating is this photo?  Today we did our first exploration. Due to flooding, our first field experience was limited to the road entering Honey Island Swamp, which is part of of the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area.  As we entered the gated area, we began searching on the side of the road. Approximately 300 ft. in, Ms. Coleman, a 4th grade teacher from Chapel Hill, NC identified herbivory. The team, led by Rebecca Hazen, our lead scientist, stopped and searched for caterpillar on a lemon tree. As I glanced over, I nearly passed out! Just a couple feet away was this caterpillar!  The caterpillar is a Lymantriidae and will undergo metamorphosis and mature into a Definite Tussock Moth. The plant is Japanese Privat.  We continued our search for several hours.  We found multiple species.  All caterpillar are captured and placed in zipper storage bags along with dinner.  We collect a few branches of leaves of whatever we find them on.  Upon return, each caterpillar was entered into a database that identified when they were found, where they were found, the date and family name.  Enter data was a very long process.  It was a very successful outing, though we were unable to enter the plot sites.  Of special interest, we saw a cotton-mouth and copperhead snake, several turtles and frogs.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  

Challenge: What is frass? What is herbivory?  How are they related? 
(Hint: This leaf has frass on it)


At April 20, 2009 at 7:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so exciting!! That is the most unique caterpillar that I have ever seen. You sure do have it going on Mrs. Duff. Any spiders yet? Sounds like you found my fear (snakes). Miss ya already. Mrs. Tina

At April 20, 2009 at 10:14 AM , Blogger Mrs. Duff said...

No spiders...yet! I've been warned they are there. Don't worry, you'll know when I do :o)

At April 23, 2009 at 1:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear mrs.duff we all mis you so much and we can't wait for you to get back i herd that you have to tak care ofalot of caterpillers 350 we all mis you from elise


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