Let’s have some fun and some YIKES! today with the CATALPA WORM:
It’s interesting to know that the Catalpa Worm is just as good frozen as it is fresh off a Catalpa Tree. YIKES!
Why? you ask.
The Catalpa Worm is considered by most a serious tree pest, but fisherman consider the Catalpa Worm prize fish bait.
But let’s get back to the Catalpa Worm vs. the Catalpa Tree before we venture into the fish bait prize.
The Catalpa Worm (the caterpillar phase of the Catalpa Sphinx moth) feeds on the foliage of the Catalpa Tree. This shade tree, prized for its showy flowers and ornamental value, is generally found in the southern regions of the United States.
The greenish Catalpa Worm, with its recognizable black head and tail and neon-like strips or spots down each side of its back, is a threat to the lovely Catalpa Tree. Around June 1st, the Catalpa Sphinx deposits anywhere from 300 to 1,000 eggs on the undersides of the Catalpa Tree leaves. The eggs hatch in a few days… then young larvae begin to feed on the tree’s leaves. One tree can hold hundreds of Catalpa Worms. YIKES! again.
This is where the fishermen step in. The Catalpa Worms are collected and often frozen alive. The metabolism of the Catalpa Worm allows it to be frozen in its natural state… to be thawed as fresh as new. The Catalpa Worm is especially good catfish bait.
Let your kids and grandkids in on the fun, learning and YIKES! of the Catalpa Worm. Talk about the discovery of turning a pest into a welcomed presence… depending on point-of-view, of course.
You may want to research the life cycle of the Catalpa Sphinx… or perhaps research the methods of collecting, freezing and using the Catalpa Worm as fish bait. Sky’s the limit in fun, learning and the YIKES! factor.
Visit each day in June for JUNE BUGS here on 365 Days of Literacy for Kids! 5 minutes is all it takes to learn/teach something awesome.