Thursday, January 3, 2013

Turning ON Blogyear 2013!

Happy New Year!

 Let's hope that we are more blessed, happier and more contented from now on! Further hope that our environment and earth conditions will slow down its response to our irresponsibility, and maybe forgive our transgressions! 

I have not been on-line during the holidays. The internet was sacrificed for the natural, earthly, more mundane activities. But i did not forget my camera, it was always with me daily, my constant companion. I had a lot of photos, different angles, different white balance, etc, etc, even if they are of the same subjects! Our area has strong biodiversity, only appropriate lens and tripod limit their capture. I will start with a simple caterpillar, unfortunately I am not aware of its name. I will just call it a looper, which is only about more than an inch long. I used a 34mm digital Zuiko macro lens. 

 I saw this yellow-green looper standing on a leaf edge. It seems motionless, so i touched it with a leaf tip. It signaled probably danger, so it immediately walked frantically from the leaf to the branch.

 I was so intrigued how it looped its body with only the front and back feet touching the twig. The wavy occlusions of the whole body was also nice to watch. I can really see the tension with it.

 It tried this above position, stopped a few seconds as if waiting if it is already safe! But it realized he is so obvious there, so it moved frantically again, from the big branch to the smaller branch, look at that right green branch on the right. How it managed to get on it, inverting its position, i failed to capture with the camera, sorry about that!

Now it's already on that smaller branch, it is again frantically looping its way to the top. I wonder how it managed to determine which is the top or down. That small brain could have been equipped with a lot of sensing mechanism! Amazing creature!

I somehow realized that it previously sensed the tip of that branch is cut! Can you imagine how that is done? I might not have read yet the habits and intelligence of loopers, but this creature at the moment is teaching me a lot! It is now checking the tip of the branch if he is correct! The tail portion wiggled a few times for something i can't decipher the significance! I thought that instance that it was confused and might turn back, but it didn't. 
It stabilized its tail grip once more, while sensing the end of the cut twig.

 I realized, it could have been sensing the distance from the tip and at which part will its tail end will attach itself. When the tail end stopped, it's the head portion's turn to wiggle. It could be also sensing the tip of the branch, or maybe sensing if there are predators in the vicinity. How clever, this looper is!

Finally, with all the conditions checked, it stopped right there. It again resumed the motionless stance of a cut twig that it knows is the safest stance it should adopt. I waited long for it to move again, it didn't change its position anymore. I didn't stop there! I again prodded it with a leaf tip. But it didn't let me bother it anymore, it remained motionless, only swaying slightly with the twig as the wind blows. Maybe it is saying, you cannot fool me anymore!

The looper already solved its  problem, but it left me with a lot more, even more than when i first found it! Now I am searching either the net or some persons to teach me the manners and thoughts of loopers! I wonder if there are people who knows, I am afraid there's none!

24 comments:

  1. Wow! What amazing photography (not to mention the looper's movement too). Nature sure is full of interesting stuff. Have a Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Aaron for your kind words, those are lovely to hear for the new year, Have a Wonderful Year ahead, and be happy!

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  2. Great post! I felt like I was there! Never thought loopers could be so interesting.

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    1. Hello Jason, thank you so much. I wish I am as good as you in writing, if i were you I can make lovely books like Lewis Thomas, whose Lives of a Cell, Medusa and the Snail, etc really caught my attention. I love how he was able to simplify complicated subjects. Happy New Year!

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  3. I enjoy reading this post very much. Uugh... now I think twice about handling branches and leaves. There may be traces of loopers' DNA on them. Happy New Year.

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    1. Stiletto, Happy New Year as well. Don't worry about the DNA traces on the leaves they can't affect you. It is the caterpillar itself, which when you suddenly touch unknowingly will make you shriek, as I did many times.

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    2. Ha,ha you are just like me. Others would think that I'm brave to take close-ups of these wrigglies but in actual fact they make my skin creeps.

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    3. yes you are right, i can even maybe touch a snake in the zoo when someone is holding it, but i can't easily touch a larva. If someone will offer some prize for holding one in my palm, i will give some second thoughts!

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  4. Great photos...not sure about this caterpillar but ones here are studied and I know a couple of experts for caterpillars in the US...I wonder if anyone at local universities would be able to help with any questions. Happy New Year

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    1. Happy New Year Donna. Yes i know there are people who study them, as even the unknowingly existing subjects are being studied, much more this very obvious ones, LOL. What I think they don't know now are the thoughts of the loopers! hahaha!

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  5. What an amazing little thing! I bet he thought you were a stalker!!

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    1. Yes Bettyl, that is a possibility, but I am a kind stalker!

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  6. I LOVE that you took the time and looked at something small that most people wouldn't have paid any attention to. Fantastic photos for this week's Nature Notes and now I am wondering about these little guys. I have raised some butterflies and watched the caterpillars but I don't know if it is the same. I know their eyesight isn't good, but they do have the ability to sense where they are...OK now I have to do some research..... Michelle from Nature Notes...

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    1. Yes Michelle, thanks for hosting. I have a lot for Nature Notes but i always forget to link. I tried to rear 2 kinds last holidays, but i haven't seen them to adulthood. The pupa emerged a day after I left, so the nephew hopefully takes a good photo. An unusual first time seen dangerous toxic larva was reared for almost 2 days, but put it back to the tree when it doesn't eat in my care. Sister and mother threaten to stump on it because they want to lessen its population by at least one! Goats that accidentally ingest it in pasture die with burned throats! I returned it to the tree to live!

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  7. Fascinating post and shots of the looper.

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    1. Happy New Year Carver, thanks for visiting, hoping you will again drop by!

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  8. Amazing photos! Happy New Year to a fellow Filipino :)

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    1. Am glad to meet a Filipino successful in foreign lands. More power and may you drop by again sometime.

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  9. Always fascinating and excellent photography here ~ Great work! ~ Happy New Year to you ^_^

    (A Creative Harbor aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^)

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    1. Oh you are so kind Carol, of course i know you are just kind as I know what kind of photos you create, haha! thanks again.

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  10. That was very interesting and fascinating! Yes, we both documented a lot of critter contortions today! ;-)

    Thanks for your visit and comment on my Camera Critter post. Wishing you all the best in this new year!

    ~Lindyt

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  11. Happy New year! Great captures and a cool critter!

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  12. I really, really loved this post. Just fascinating. I can't help you with identification. You are already many steps ahead, since I would have said inchworm, but I've just learned that a looper is one of the three species included under the inchworm heading. As someone else said, it was the time and attention you gave to this little fellow's goals and movements that made this post so special. That and your excellent photography!

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