Nature Blog Network

Friday, May 7, 2010

What in the larval world is this?

No one at Duke seems to know what this is. Southern Fried Scientist has allowed me to copy verbatim his post in the hopes that maybe someone out there in TO95's world knows what this is!

The following photo was taken near the Yadkin River in Davie, North Carolina. According to observers, there were millions of them attached to the sides of trees and undersides of leaves throughout the region. In some places they were hanging so thick they looked like tiny bats. Does anyone know what they are?

photo by Gregory Bonito (click to embiggen)

~Southern Fried Scientist


  1. Looks like what we call 'pear slug', actually the larva of sawflies, a hymenopteran.

  2. Scrap that last comment...on closer look it appears like a ladybug larva of some sort.

  3. Sara over at Southern Fried Science seems to have nailed it: Leaf Beetle Pupae - Chrysomela aeneicollis

    Apparently, their range is out in the mountainous western US and Canada: "This beetle occurs in the Rocky Mountains and in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. It is also found further north in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Alberta, and British Columbia (Brown 1956)."

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  5. Definitely a Chrysomela; almost certainly NOT a wandering Rocky Mountain species. One of several species known from Eastern US. Why not rear out a few pupae and settle the issue?

  6. Will, thats what they did! It hatched a few days ago. See more at

    ID'd as Chrysomela scripta, apparently common enough but hadn't been observed the local natural history guys to pupate en masse like such.


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