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標題: [Noctuidae] Diet and digestion
X-ray (X-ray)
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發表於 2013-5-11 19:05  資料 短消息 
Diet and digestion

Made two observations about the noctuid which I find interesting and would like to share.

Found a noctuid caterpillar on Bauhimia leaf last week and took it home for a photo session.  I like to introduce some color to the background so I tried to coax the caterpillar to go on the petal of a stargazer lily.  It did not want to get on.  However, when I put it near the anthers, it just grabs hold of it and started gobbling down the pollen.  In fact, I put an anther, bauhimia and hibiscus leaves into the container and found that the caterpillar prefersl the pollen and did not touch the other two leaves.  The pollen must be quite delicious to the caterpillar; maybe its like dessert...ha..ha.

I also tried to put the cat on an orchid with bud.  It did not mind the orchid at all and move around the flower quite a lot.  When it got to an unopened bud, it just planted its mouth on the bud like giving a kiss.  After the photo shot, I put the caterpillar back into its container and I noticed a brown mark on the bud where the caterpillar laid its mouth.  When I check the bud 1 hour later, I found there is a hole in the bud.  Apparently, the caterpillar must have secreted digestive juice onto the bud and dissolve the plant tissue. So this is how caterpillar makes holes in leaves and does not always have to start eating from the edge?  Here is a link to the image at NPN (hope it works).

Has anyone else seen these before?

[ Last edited by  X-ray at 2013-5-13 22:58 ]

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發表於 2013-5-17 14:52  資料 主頁 短消息 
On behalf of X-ray, and with his permission, I will post his earlier pics and commentary.  [I have also cropped and slightly edited his pics for clarity of viewing on this Forum.]
X-ray wrote:
"I tried to put this [Noctuid larva = Tiracola aureata] down on a Stargazer lily but it would not go on the petal.  Guess the smell is not to its liking.  However when I put it on the anther, it refused to let go and just gobbled up all the pollen grains.  (Note: it later behaved the same way when confronting Hibiscus pollen laden anthers!)

Next, I put it on an orchid.  When it came to the pristine bud, I just put its face on the petal.   After finishing taking the picture, I put it back into the container and I noticed a brown patch on the surface of the bud.  1 hour later, there was a hole where the brown patch was.  I think it probably secreted digestive juice on the patch and was waiting for it to dissolve the cellulose.

[ Last edited by  dlmohn at 2013-5-17 16:18 ]

圖片: DSC_8498aa.jpg (2013-5-17 16:17, 16.44 K)

圖片: [closeup of the anther] DSC_8498bb.jpg (2013-5-17 16:17, 7.26 K)

圖片: DSC_8484aa.jpg (2013-5-17 16:17, 13.67 K)

圖片: [closeup of the orchid bud] DSC_8484bb.jpg (2013-5-17 16:17, 17.21 K)

圖片: [the dissolved pit] DSC_8509aa.jpg (2013-5-17 16:17, 25.92 K)


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