very small caterpillar (1/32")

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frankw
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very small caterpillar (1/32")

Post by frankw »

Greetings,
I found this little guy on the underside of some rotting Doug Fir bark. I thought he was dead, a victim of our recent freeze, but after a stack of 300 images, he very patiently woke up and walked away. If only all bugs were so patient! No idea what kind he is, and I am only assuming that he is a caterpillar...
Canon 6D, Canon 200mm, nikon plan 10X/0.25 infinity, stackshot, Zerene.

Image

abpho
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Post by abpho »

Nice work. Great image.
I'm in Canada! Isn't that weird?

canonian
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Post by canonian »

Not a caterpillar, shows more resemblance to some sort of lepisma, like the silverfish.

frankw
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Location: Port Townsend,Washington, USA

very small caterpillar 1/32"

Post by frankw »

I just heard from a friend who showed the image to Jesse Eiben, an entomologist at UH, Hilo. According to Mr. Eiben, it's a Bristly Millipede,
Family Polyxenidae.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

it's a Bristly Millipede,
Family Polyxenidae.
Fascinating! :D

I don't recall ever hearing about these beasts. Now that I know about them, of course Google can find lots of material.

Nicely shot, by the way. I'll bet the full resolution version has some wonderful detail in those scales. Any chance of seeing a crop?

--Rik

canonian
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Post by canonian »

Goes to show one must be careful ID-ing insects.
Never heard about it but seems to be quite common.
Here its nickname is 'penseeltje': paintbrush.
Very nice deep stack.
Last edited by canonian on Sun Dec 07, 2014 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

frankw
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Location: Port Townsend,Washington, USA

very small caterpillar 1/32"

Post by frankw »

Thanks very much for looking and your comments. Here is a slightly different view of the same guy showing more detail in scales and face. Image

Wim van Egmond
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Post by Wim van Egmond »


frankw
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:45 am
Location: Port Townsend,Washington, USA

very small catepillar 1/32"

Post by frankw »

Hi Wim,
I had no idea! Thanks for showing these. It would seem that these little guys are found world wide. Here is a link to a fascinating article about them, and in particular, their defense mechanisms. Apparently, unlike most Millipedes with their chemical defenses, these guys have figured out how to use their spines as weapons, not unlike a porcupine!

http://www.pnas.org/content/93/20/10848.full.pdf

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Fascinating indeed. That "forehead" area looks partially transparent? The the electron micrograph subjects in the article will doubtless send the high-magnification stackers amongst us, off on a hunt for the beasts.

:!: Soon the streets will be littered with discarded pine trees...

RogelioMoreno
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Post by RogelioMoreno »

Amazing specimen!

Rogelio

Wim van Egmond
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Post by Wim van Egmond »

An interesting pdf article, Frank. The writer Thomas Eisner is a legend. I have his book For love of insects. Recommended read!

regards, Wim

frankw
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Location: Port Townsend,Washington, USA

very small catepillar 1/32"

Post by frankw »

Thanks for the recommendation Wim, I will look for it!
best,
Frank

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