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Let's play "ID this caterpillar thing"

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Let's play "ID this caterpillar thing"

Post  lzalvis on 6/28/2014, 8:49 pm

There are TONS of these in my lettuce bed - but not a bite has been taken out of my lettuce!!  It's so weird.  So....what are they?  Do I need to do anything about them?  




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Re: Let's play "ID this caterpillar thing"

Post  mollyhespra on 6/28/2014, 10:40 pm

They look like centipedes or maybe millipedes, I can't tell from the picture.   If so, I think they're pretty harmless to growing plants, for the most part preying on other creatures (centipedes) or on decaying matter (millipedes).  Centipedes can impart a painful bite, so be careful not to touch them.  I never bother to eradicate them, I think they do more good than harm.

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Re: Let's play "ID this caterpillar thing"

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/28/2014, 10:51 pm

They do look like millipedes. Do they curl tight into a spiral when touched? And have many many thin tiny legs?

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Re: Let's play "ID this caterpillar thing"

Post  lzalvis on 6/28/2014, 10:55 pm

Yes, they curl up when touched.  I find many of them curled up under dead leaves on the surface.  since all my lettuce plants remain untouched, I was hoping they aren't harmful.  I'm still learning so much, I don't honestly know the difference between a centipede and a millipede.  Trying to learn all I can!  

Heck if they eat other creatures or decaying matter, maybe I should move some to my other beds  Smile

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Re: Let's play "ID this caterpillar thing"

Post  Marc Iverson on 6/28/2014, 11:08 pm

Centipedes can be huge, I think as much as a foot long, and have a terrifically painful, poisonous bite. I've seen them eat mice and other small (and not so small) creatures on youtube. Millipedes are small and harmless to people and you can poke them about in your palm and pick them up without worry. I always kinda liked them. They're shy and fascinating, with all those legs.

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Re: Let's play "ID this caterpillar thing"

Post  camprn on 6/29/2014, 7:41 am

http://bugguide.net/node/view/37

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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