Friday, November 6, 2015
It’s that time of year again and we often get little birds “lost” on campus. Please refer to the following flow diagram when deciding what to do with them. If you make sure the students see the poster by displaying it in your class then we will be able to get rid of some of the most prevalent myths concerning baby birds.
The little fellow pictured above seems to be a fledgling that belongs to the Southern black flycatcher who frequents the big Mahogany tree. After we left baby out on the deck she found it and probably led it somewhere safe.
Lassiocampidae (Eggar moth): the name gave me no indication of the visual impact of the prehistoric animated Cuban cigar with highlights in its hollow venom spears that Malik found wrapped around a pod mahogany branch on Macaneta. I have seen a fair number of forgettable caterpillars but this one …
Speaking from a complete lack of experimental evidence. A carefully planned lack, I might add. I can say that this creature is not something one would want to mess with, physical contact with those spines can cause a type of histamine release and dermatitis called Lepidopterism.
Toxins from the hairs are likely to spill out if broken off, and these moths are prone to lash about forcing hairs into the skin if they feel threatened. People who are allergic to the toxins are in for a torrid time.
The weird name “Eggar” moth is derived from the egg shaped cocoon of some species of which there are over 2000 kinds on earth (some as yet undiscovered). Maybe the caterpillar should be called the animated victorian moustache. You never know what you are going to find out there, that’s what makes exploration time in the bush so cool.