One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there, have a look at what I spotted in the neighborhood drive this week—and I don’t mean the whitewash!

Mystery # 66

Any guesses what those little balls are?


This is caterpillar frass…in other words, the poop of caterpillars. Caterpillars eat only leaves, so their frass is pretty much dry and hard. And they have lots of it, because all caterpillars do is eat until they grow big enough to change to butterflies. This frass is the size of cherry pits, meaning the caterpillar is huge, probably a Hickory Horned Devil, but neither Nutmeg or I wanted to venture out to the tips of the tree branches to find him.

If you’re wondering how I could tell this was frass instead of dirt balls or seeds, look closely at them. Frass has little ridges, like pumpkins do.



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