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© John Pickering, 2004-2019

Yellow-necked Caterpillars clustered in a defensive group. When disturbed they flare up suddenly together, rearing their front and hind legs in a menacing ball to help ward off potential enemies. The larvae feed on shade trees in the genera Quercus (oaks), Betula (birches), Salix (willows), and Malus (apple trees and shrubs in the rose family, Rosaceae). Young ones skeletonise leaves; older ones eat whole leaves, except the stems. Once the larvae are fully grown at about 50mm, they drop to the ground and pupate in the soil, emerging as adults the following year. This species, Datana ministra, is in the moth family Notodontidae. Adults are difficult to identify from some other species in the same genus. The species ranges over much of the United States and Canada. While in some areas they are considered pests, they're a joy to find, watch, and then poke gently with a twig. Boo!

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title Datana ministra, Yellow-necked Caterpillar Moth, larvae
how/method Nikon D50 camera; 105mm AF Macro Nikkor lens
country United States
state/province Georgia
county Clarke
city/place/location Athens
street/site/trail State Botanical Garden
position/trap International Garden
MAPdecimal latitude_longitude ••• 34_-83.4
determined by who-email-yyyymmdd Henning Von Schmeling h.vonschmeling@chattnaturecenter.com 20081107
date1 yyyymmdd 2007:08:29 05:06:47

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