over labor day weekend we celebrated my dad's birthday. while there augustine found a salamander and a lovely orange caterpillar. he asked to bring both of them home to put in a terrarium. we agreed that he could bring the caterpillar, dubbed "fuzzy", only. so we built fuzzy a home in a plastic container and filled it with noms and sticks for him to hang on. augustine diligently changed out the bedding and washed it out when fuzzy's call of nature accumulated. the hope was that we could see it pupate and transition into a butterfly or moth. well one night olive left the lid open just enough and fuzzy shawshanked from the sigler house. the next day a friend on facebook put up a picture of an enormous horn worm from his garden. i asked if he would be willing to rehome him to us and so then we acquired "spikey". spikey was much larger so we had to build him a bigger habitat, this time with strict instructions on lid-diligence. saturday night we had a neighbor over and we told him about our newest family member (shudder) and he mentioned that if we see it covered in white bumps that we should get rid of him asap because it means he's been infested with parasitic wasp eggs. i was like WHA? basically the parasitic wasp will lay it's eggs inside the horn worm and they will chew their way out. DELIGHTFUL! so i saunter over to spikey's habitat and peak it and wouldn't you know it, in the ~3 hrs since i'd checked on him last the dude had white eggs all over him.
needless to say my neighbor took care of him and all the eggs with the business end of his shoe. augustine and olive were pretty sad but we told them that that is just how nature works to keep everything in check. things live, things die, things are predators, things are prey.
RIP spikey. or something.