Sunday, September 11, 2011

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Today is International Rock Flipping Day. Seriously. If it's been years since you've gone out and flipped rocks over just to see what's living underneath them, it's a fabulous way to bring back the wonders of childhood. Go out and give it a try.

It's the brainchild of Susannah, the creator of the fascinating Wanderin' Weeta blog.  Check out what other people have found via the links on her site and by following the Twitter hastag #rockflip. And, if you have your own finds, write them up and send her a link to your blog!

Here in Minnesota, I think it's been a bit too dry lately. Most of the usual rock critters seem to have dug down deeper into the moist soil. I came up with nothing but a single millipede under one of our garden rocks.

But, I did find this amazing creature while picking plums today. It's a Banded Tussock Moth caterpillar.

Plums are a stone fruit, right? Stones and rocks... yep, I'm counting this as a rock flip find!

Its face reminds me of an African antelope with a beard and horns.  Here's a closer look:

International Rock Flipping Day was a great success! Check out these fascinating posts of what people found:
A Roving I will Go
Outside my Window
Rebecca in the Woods
Fertanish Chatter
Bug Safari
Growing with Science Blog
Wild About Ants
Powell River Books Blog
Meandering Washington
Cicero Sings
Via Negativa
Mainly Mongoose
Chicken Spaghetti
Wanderin' Weeta
Rock, Paper, Lizard
Cabin Girl
At Rattan Creek
More photos available on the Flickr group page.


  1. Great photos! When I was living in Georgia we had a big outbreak of a different species of tussock moth caterpillar, and we caught and reared a couple at work, which was fun. Glad to have come across your blog - I've been having trouble finding many good North Woods nature blogs.

  2. What a beautiful capture.

    My son says: "They didn't find that under a rock." :-)

  3. Wow that is one cool Bug! I am bummed..I forgot about rock flipping day!

  4. There is one correction: Rock Flipping Day is not my brainchild; it was started 5 years ago by Dave Bonta and Bev Wigney. Bev couldn't do it the next year, and then Dave needed a break, so now I've been doing it.