Sunday, January 16, 2011

Unidentified Crawling Object!!!

Hey guys!

I've got some amazing news! I've just handed in my Honours application as well as my approval of graduation so, if all goes well I suppose I will leave with a degree, come back for a research-based-honours and top it all off with a sweet tutoring gig at Monash University! In the meantime I noticed, as a I was leaving campus, a rather fat and brown caterpillar clinging to one of the concrete pillars. It looked terribly lost and out of place so what I did was I went to the cafeteria and got a little plastic cup to put it in. Now I really wanted to let it go but I had no idea which plants it would feed on so instead I decided to keep it and try my luck with a bunch of leaves. I plucked leaves from a few plants nearby including tigerlilies, hibiscus and eucalyptus.
Unidentified Crawling Object
Now, I suppose I can tell you now that its really difficult to find the foodplants of a caterpillar if you've found one that was not on the plant to begin with because most caterpillars are horribly picky eaters (I can so relate) and they often won't touch anything but the leaves of the plant they were hatched on, so you can imagine my chagrin but also acceptance and resignation when this particular caterpillar touched NONE of the leaves I picked for it. In fact, it didn't even move much the entire day prompting me to prod it with a stick at one point to make sure it was alive. It was. It didn't like it very much.
Unhappy Crawler! :(
The next thing I got to doing was trying to identify the little creature! If I knew what sort of caterpillar it is, maybe I could bring it the foodplants it wanted and it would be less cranky! So, I emailed Michael and the folks at Penang Butterfly Farm about it but I didn't get a reply. It stopped moving again after that so I thought it was dead. I poke it with a stick again but it didn't move much. "Oh dear..." I thought. More updates soon.

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