Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
What's in a name?
As we stood with coffee cups and shared horror stories, exaggerating the pain and suffering inflicted upon the innocent child-versions of ourselves by our initial contact with asp caterpillars, we acknowledged that 1) we were both unusually brave and fine young people, and 2) this spiny window walker was a relative perhaps, but no asp. Asps are hairy and this guy is spiny. Very very spiny.
I was having a terrible time trying to get a reasonable image as the reflectivity of the window coatings played games with the auto-focus on my camera. Knowing I could not leave such a stingy thing crawling on the house so close to a doorway anyway, I carefully transferred the slug from window to trowel, and carried it out into better light.
I took a few more shots and, uttering a few words of farewell, gently heaved this guy over the fence to a spot where there is no regular human or even much animal traffic. A spot where both slug and other neighborhood travelers may stay safely separate one from the other.
It didn't take long to discover that our intimidating visitor is a Spiny Oak Slug. More scientifically, a slug caterpillar of the Limacodidae family, genus Euclea.
BugGuide, there is little to no information on how to further distinguish larvae of Euclea between E. delphinii and E. nanina. Their ranges overlap and larvae vary widely. That's all right. Spiny Oak Slug will do just fine.
Sometimes, a common name tells you most of what you really need to know.