Monday, May 7, 2018

May 6. 2018: Watching a Delaware Skipper Caterpillar make a shelter

An adventure at Circle B Bar Nature Preserve.  

I went expecting to see lots of marsh birds catching fish, but the most interesting was a skipper caterpillar making a shelter.   She was on a blade of grass and attached a silk strand to one edge,  Then extended the strand and connected to the other edge.  She then shuttled back and forth, increasing the tension and pulling the edges together.  

After a while she moved up the blade about an inch and started another "pull the edges together".  This time, she was able to pull the edges quite close to each other.  Then she retreated to the 1st strand, and continued tensioning until the edges were in close proximity.

I did not have my macro lens with me (only my bird lens) - all the photos and videos were from my phone.

Tensioning the 1st strand of silk.  Shuttling back and forth, somehow increasing the tension in order to create a concave home by pulling the edges together 

Starting the 2nd strand

Tensioning the 2nd strand

Anterior view of tensioning process

Tensioning the 2nd strand

An anterior view of the shuttle action