When it’s too hot to take photographs outside, I can always go down to my basement to photograph camel crickets (“sprickets” to many). I know, lucky me. But if you have a moist basement, you probably have them, too. The ones below are the introduced species (I think), Diestrammena asynamora, from Asia. They drive me nuts. So much so that I wasted time collecting ways to get rid of them (see my page, “Getting rid of camel crickets“, if you’re interested). The list is not 100% effective, as photographs attest, but at least I don’t have thousands of them anymore.
Tag Archives: entomology
After agonizing over the identification of hornworm larvae for years, I’ve developed two tricks that I’d like to share. Tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) caterpillars have stripes (seven of them), so remember that by thinking of Lucky Strikes cigarettes. Horn is usually red or red-tipped, like a cigarette. Also, tobacco gives you dark teeth and lungs … and tobacco hornworms have black shadows on their stripes. Tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata) have eight chevrons (Vs), which you can remember by thinking of V8 juice, which is primarily tomato juice. Here’s the graphic you can share with friends who might have it wrong:
If you can, please spread the word … most of the tens of thousands of tobacco hornworm photographs on the internet are misidentified as tomato hornworms. Even Wikipedia page for tomato hornworm shows tobacco hornworm larvae (I’m working on it …). The problem is that tobacco hornworm eats tomatoes, and people with fancy cameras grow a lot of tomatoes.
Photograph of tomato hornworm from Amanda Hill.
Further refinements to my camel cricket control setup. Addition of a red “party light” illuminates the whole area so that the motion sensor works much better — no more motion-sensing lights in the system, as per initial design. Note: most insects don’t see red well, so it’s just dark to them. Just dab a little food onto the surface of the motion sensor, and they will come. And then they will go. Last night I caught approximately 30 crickets. While I slept. And upon waking, I could check my iPhone for the update from the WeMo app (I have it say, “Crickets sucked” at each event). Details on how to make your own. Two photographs below were taken by a Belkin Netcam HD automatically, when motion was sensed. Again, all while I slept.