I've got moths on my mind, and probably will for some time. The giant lepidopteran fest known as Mothapalooza will do that. We saw so many species in so many different groups of organisms at Mothapalooza that I could write about it and share photos for weeks, probably.
But I'll not do that. Life goes on, and I'll soon be immersed in new adventures, and seeing new things. I do want to make two more posts about the Mothapaloozian weekend, though.
The caterpillar also has a certain charm to it, looking somewhat like a turtle covered in shag carpet. They aren't rare, and when afield during flannel moth caterpillar season, you'll want to take care as to where you put your hands. These caterpillars pack a brutal punch, being adorned with powerful stinging hairs. Touch one wrong, and you'll probably learn a painful lesson that won't soon be forgotten.
Scroll between the caterpillar and the adult flannel moth, and there is some resemblance.
Conspicuous as these two caterpillars may be in this shot, when on their (seemingly) preferred host plant's flowers, they are not nearly so obvious. That's because Unexpected Cycnia caterpillars often nosh on the orange flowers of Butterfly-weed, Asclepias tuberosa, and then the cat's coloration causes them to blend well with the surroundings.
This disparity between caterpillar and moth is one of the great pleasures of studying these organisms. It's almost as if every species is made up of two species: caterpillar and moth.