Category Archives: Caterpillar Blogging

Living With Uric Acid

In the larva stage of the tobacco hornworm, nitrogen waste is removed from the hemolymph and excreted by the digestive system. However, waste processing must drastically change during metamorphosis. A fully developed tobacco hornworm will drop from a plant to … Continue reading

Posted in behavior, Biomaterials, by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging, Development | 1 Comment

Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Living With Cocoonase

Silkworm larvae spin a very tight cocoon, a protective case where pupation occurs. The adult moth emerges inside the cocoon and must then escape. How? Butterflies and moths have long coiled sucking mouthparts, unsuitable for making an exit hole in … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging | 1 Comment

Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Silk Filters

The silk produced by larvae of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, is a long thread composed of shorter interlocking strands of silk protein. Silk thread can be disassociated into its protein units, silk nanofibrils. These nanofibrils can be dissolved in solution … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging | 1 Comment

Caterpillar Disease Paralysis

Caterpillars suffering from bacterial infections often stop moving and become lethargic. The paralytic proteins (cytokines) present in caterpillar hemolymph are involved. The same contractile paralysis that is initiated by paralytic proteins can be induced by injecting bacteria into the hemocoel … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging, Environment | 1 Comment

Caterpillar Paralytic Proteins

Caterpillars of silkworms and other moths are known to produce peptides (cytokines) that can cause larval paralysis. It is speculated that these peptides may serve as a partial defense against parasitoids. The levels of paralytic peptide that can be isolated … Continue reading

Posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging | 1 Comment

Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: What’s Eating New England?

New England is experiencing a gypsy moth outbreak this year. The hungry hordes of caterpillars are munching the leaves of oaks and other deciduous trees leaving a landscape that looks like midwinter in the middle of July. This outbreak is … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging, Environment, Invasive Species, News | 1 Comment

Painted Lady Problems

Rearing butterflies can be a compelling educational experience for young biology students. Venders market kits with eggs and artificial diet that can be used to rear a variety of caterpillars including Painted Lady Butterflies. Occasionally, the artificial diet fails. I … Continue reading

Posted in by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging, Education, Environment | Leave a comment