Saturday, August 20, 2011

Another Slug

This has definitely been a summer for finding slug caterpillars. I found this Spiny Oak Slug munching away on my apple tree.

This is a spiny fellow that will sting you if you happen to touch it. I definitely did not use my finger tip to position this guy for a photo shoot.

Spiny Oak Slugs are quite variable in their appearance and come in a variety of colors. One of the defining characters is supposed to be some clumps of black spines at the rear of the caterpillar. I’m not really seeing them here, but the literature says their appearance is also variable and occurs only in the last two instars. I’m not very good at determining caterpillar instars, so I’m not sure whether or not it’s time to be seeing black spines.

I had nudged the caterpillar toward the center of the leaf for a better photographic angle, but it was determined to return to the leaf margin to continue with its meal. In its rush to get back to feeding, it revealed its normally concealed head.

The green and gray color combination displayed by this individual matches well with the blotchy pattern of the leaves. Between the camouflage and the sting, these caterpillars should be well protected.

This shot is for those who haven’t yet noticed the face pattern on the caterpillar’s back. I love a good face shot.


  1. The are quite pretty, aren't they. :)

  2. They certainly are, Lois. I can't get enough of them.