It's always a challenge to see all nature has to offer when we're out hiking in the great outdoors but occasionally we run across things that we've never seen before and we are compelled to further research in order to satisfy our curiosity. Renee Bentz, Allen County Parks employee, was at Metea County Park recently checking milkweed plants for caterpillars when she noticed a bird dropping on the underside of a leaf. On closer inspection she realized it was actually a spider clinging to the leaf. Renee took a photograph, and headed for her insect and spiders field guide.
Photo by Renee Bentz
Another oddity seen recently at Fox Island County Park is this Imperial Moth caterpillar (Eacles imperialis). This caterpillar was crawling slowly across the mulch when I saw it. This caterpillar's host plants are sassafras, elm, hackberry and several other trees.
Photo by J. Ormiston