Last night, after 7 days incubation, the caterpillar eggs on our front door began to hatch and this morning I got photos of the tiny hatchlings. You can see the tiny, 1st instar yellow Wooly Bear caterpillars below:
Later, yesterday afternoon I took the following photo:
You can see that more of the caterpillars have hatched and they are eating the egg remains. More eggs have hatched!
Wooly Bear caterpillars eat grasses, clovers and leaves from various shrubs and trees so I carefully transferred the tiny larvae to the grass this morning. Spilosoma virginica (Virginia Tiger Moth) has 3-4 life cycles per year and mature caterpillars are usually active from May to November. These caterpillars will probably grow larger and hibernate as caterpillars, creating an antifreeze-like substance in their bodies to protect their cells from freezing.