I found this guy slowly traversing my yard the other day. Slow, that is, until he noticed me. You know all that stuff about turtles being slow and all that? Total garbage. I was shocked how fast this turtle was moving to get away from me.
Now, I usually don’t make a habit of chasing poor creatures around, but I actually had a reason. The way my yard is situated turns it into a type of trap, if you will. Animals can get in but not out on account of a fence and a retaining wall. I’ve had stray dogs and even deer trapped in my back yard before. I did catch this turtle, after lots of hissing (yes they hiss…and bite), and set it free beyond the fence.
The box turtle is pretty common in the Cincinnati area if you know where to find them. They generally eat insects, worms, and many different types of vegetation. And here’s a really amazing characteristic… they have an average life span of 50 years. Based on that, this very well could have been the same turtle I saw years ago in the same spot… who knows.
I’m happy to say that I have this at a pretty functional state! If you don’t know, my previous blog was called CinciBugs. It’s still out there in Blogger land, but I will no longer be updating it. I found that limiting my focus to insects/spiders made me miss out on a lot of other things that I’d like to share. So, at this new site, you can expect to find all types of wild life I find around Cincinnati as well as more general posts that aren’t necessarily photo-based. I have imported those posts, so at the moment the site is extremely saturated with bugs and spiders. I better get busy to even it out!!
So, keep an eye on the category menu on the side, as I expect it to keep on growing as I find more and more things to share with all of you…
A friend sent me this photo and I must say that I’m jealous that I didn’t get to see this Regal Moth caterpillar in person! I look and look and look, and all I ever find are wooly worms or tent caterpillars.. nothing like this in all its bizarre evil horned cucumber glory!!
A common nickname for these things is the ”Hickory Horned Devil”. It’s a pretty fitting name being that Hickory is a common host plant for these.. the “Horned Devil” part is self explanatory. They go through 5 molts and the one pictured above appears to be in the 6th stage (instar).
You know the guys that glue all kinds of plastic add-ons and useless mufflers to their economy cars in an effort to make them appear more powerful than they are? Well, this is the caterpillar version of that. All those horns, spines, and flashy colors serve absolutely no purpose other than to threaten would-be predators. I guess it works well enough since evolution hasn’t phased it out…
Anyways, the adult moth form of this is really a sight to behold. A sight yet to be beheld by me. Giant and orange….all I can say. It’s really worth it to check it out..I won’t post bug pictures on here that are from other sources other than myself or friends and submissions so check out the Wikipedia link here.