Thursday, August 2, 2007


I had a false hope that we might go a year without the appearance of these fellows. Caterpillars of the catalpa sphinx moth, Ceratomia catalpae, hatch on the leaves of the catalpa tree I have planted in the front yard. In a week or so the dozens of caterpillars will have completely defoliated the tree. I look around the woods and pastures and see that almost all of the resident catalpas have been infested. Now the tree will use stored energy to put out an entirely new set of leaves. And we will have many large brown (three-inch wingspan) moths fluttering around our porch light. Local fisherfolk love this time of year, apparently "catawba worms" make great bait.

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