This morning I loaded the boys, their push bikes and the dog into the car. Hubby was working so we decided to go on an adventure!
We parked the car at the local oval so the boys could ride their bikes along the pathway to the BMX track. After doing numerous laps, they were ready to play at the playground nearby.
Back on the pathway, it eventually led us to the dog park where we saw 4 other beagles! What are the chances of seeing another beagle… let alone 4 of them. Our little Lucky had a ball chasing them around.
On our way back we ventured off the foot path and onto a local bush track.
Here’s what we found as we ventured along the track…
A long line of hairy little caterpillars!
The boys were fascinated by these little fellas all wriggling along so closely, nose to tail.
There were around 50 of them spanning out over 1 metre. We watched them moving along and looked closely at their long hairs. Being Aussie kids these guys know not to touch hairy caterpillars. They are know in Australia as ‘itchy grubs’ and are notorious for causing itchy rashes and swelling if you’re unlucky enough to come into contact with one of them.
To my surprise the boys were very careful not to squish them as we left, and actually let them live! I was very proud of them.
The bike ride left them hot and sweaty, so we ducked into the local cafe (dog friendly! yay!) for a cold drink.
Once we we were back at home we talked about the caterpillars some more. I then found a very informative website and read it out to the boys. We found that they are called a ‘Processionary Caterpillar’ hence they travel in a procession. The scientific name being ‘Ochrogaster lunifer’. These little guys eventually morph into a grey or brown moth with a wingspan of around 4cm.
An interesting fact: the female adult moths have no mouthparts and die after a few days.
Here’s the link if you’d like to read more about the Processionary Caterpillar: http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/noto/lunifer.html