It’s an OCC-OCC-OCD World! (September 2014)

Thursday, September 4, 2014.

I may be 63 (since the 15th of this month), but a I still try to learn new things every day. Case in point:

My grown daughter recently sent me a video message of a curious little crawling creature. With it’s gangly assortment of various-sized appendages sticking out all over the top of its wriggling body, it was mesmerizingly fascinating, as it ambled along benignly, on a balmy September day here in southern Louisiana. It looked like something from an alien planet. Was this a sentient being from a distant galaxy?

IMG_3661.PNGThis picture, taken from the short video my daughter recorded, is a little blurry. So, I Googled “moth larvae” (our best guess as to its possible identification), and there she was!

Little Juliette, as my daughter named her, turned out to be a Hag or Monkey Moth Caterpillar (Phobetron pithicium).

IMG_3657.JPG
I don’t know what I was expecting, exactly, except that the plain-looking black & brown creature with fuzzy front leggings, that was my dubious reward for Googling, definitely wasn’t it! Surely, there was some mistake. This drab-looking insect with the insulting and demeaning monikers couldn’t possibly be the final stage of a creature so utterly and eerily fascinating.

But, alas, ’tis true! This little wiggler was no rare find, no alien invader from distant reaches of the universe. Little Juliette did turn out to have one rather notable characteristic, though. She, he, or it stings!

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