Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The caterpillar mystery continues

I received the following email today

Thank you for sending your image through to Discovery Centre at Melbourne Museum.

I have shown the image to a Lepidoptera expert who visits the collections each week and he has said the larva is a species of moth and not butterfly and that there are several different families that it may belong to. If you are really keen to know and if you can get it to pupate and have the adult emerge we are more than happy to look at the image of the adult. If you are willing to continue to sacrifice some silver beet feed it until it pupates, put the specimen in a jar with air holes and take a photo of the adult when it emerges. Just be careful in handling any hairy caterpillars or their cocoons as they can be capable of causing irritation to people. 

Even the experts can't tell!

Such a great service the museum provides and I will definitely be trying to get a picture if all goes well. See my earlier posts on our new pet for more on our mystery caterpillar 


  1. Amazed as this prompt and interesting service. Good things abound if we look for them. keep us posted on the caterpillar/butterfly please.

  2. Wow, how intriguing! I wonder how you end up becoming a Lepidoptera expert? I love the pictures you find :-)

  3. I'm loving this mystery! - funnily enough my mother went to a talk on moths and has generally been getting into a lather about larvae ever since. (Sorry that pun was sooooo awful.....its late I'll go now...)

  4. That's quite awesome!
    Tells you something about the devotion of the ones at the museum. It will be very interesting to follow the development - hope all goes well!

  5. Hmm! It seems you have quite a mystery on your hands..what a fantastic resource, though!


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young