Thursday, 1 July 2021

LDD caterpillars –July 1st

I wanted to record an update on the disgusting little things. There is progress and hope.

You can see the egg masses, with the little holes where the caterpillars emerged from the egg mass in the spring.  Along the driveway, the LDD caterpillars are pupating. This is good news, in a way, as they will be gone for now. 

There are many writing (A Cultivated Art - writing on FB) that we should NOT cut down the trees, as some have been doing, as they will come back. There is a cycle to this, despite being an invasive species. It was so long ago that nature is adapting. The dead leaves and caterpillar poo falls and puts nutrients back into the ecosystem.

The good news is that the populations around nearby Otty Lake are beginning to collapse, according to many living or cottaging there, due to either a fungus or a virus that typically spreads when the caterpillar is up to sufficient numbers. Others are reporting that toads, birds, including crows, are eating them.
Two diseases that affect gypsy moth caterpillars are the most important factors causing outbreaks to collapse. One disease is a nucleopolyhedrosis virus (NPV) while the other disease is a fungus called Entomophaga maimaiga.

 It looks like this tree is growing new leaves after the LDD caterpillars stripped it. Thursday end of June vs. the Monday.


DUTA said...

The girls seemed to have inherited your drawing talent.
I love grape wine leaves (not the wild ones) filled with rice and ground meat. mmmm, yummy!

Tom said...

...I'm glad that there are two diseases that affect gypsy moth caterpillars!

William Kendall said...

Nature will balance it all out in the end.

NatureFootstep said...

it is strange with caterpillars, some becomes beautiful creatures, others are destructive and destroys whatever they can. Yet, they all belong to nature. Hope your nature will cope with them.