And here's the beast in person, gleaned from the net under images for Acronicta afflicta:  http://caterpillarblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/dsc0088.jpg

Thank youuuu,
b


On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 7:12 PM, Bruce Bartrug <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
That's probably the beast, Kathleen.  As you noted, there's apparently considerable variation in the coloration of the larvae.  The book I have (a Princeton guide also by David L. Wagner) shows a pale green larva with setae almost exactly like the caterpillar we had in hand.  Wagner states that prepupal forms of daggers often turn pink or red, "especially those that tunnel into wood to to fashion a pupal chamber."  There are also melanistic forms, which might account for the black head (which also could have been a dark reddish brown.)  That the larva might have been looking for a soft chunk of wood would make sense, because my grandson found it on the ground, and when I let it go it preferred being in the understory.

Thanks much !

b






--
Bruce Bartrug
Nobleboro, Maine, USA
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www.brucebartrug.com

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.  - Albert Einstein

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