Hello, my name is Ms. Shin. Join me as I travel to New Orleans to study Climate Change and Caterpillars!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Hello Everybody,

Well, it was another great day here at Pearl River. I went Kayaking... again, but this time instead of kayaking for 3 miles (like I did yesterday), we kayaked for 8.1 miles!!! I am totally EXHAUSTED!!! It was, however, an amazing experience. There is always so much to do, learn, and experience here... I don't think I'm going to be able to leave...just kidding! I can't wait to get back and show you all what I have learned here.

Till then, here are some more pictures for you to enjoy:

This is a Purple Crested Slug (caterpillar) that is parasitoid; the white cocoons on it's back are Braconid Wasps that will hatch and then eat the caterpillar.

These are Zygaeniidae or the "Great Leaf skeletonizer." They eat everything but the leaf vain, so the leaf looks like a skeleton by the time they are done eating it.

This isn't El Guapo, but you get the point.

Guess what the name of this caterpillar is? (the answer is in the question)

Here's are some words for you to look up and put into your science notebook:

1- Crypsis
2- Camouflage
3- Frass
4- Specialist
5- Generalist
6- Pupate
7- Chrysalis
8- Metamorphosis
9- Venomous
10- Spiracle

I'm very excited to Skype with you all on Friday, so see you tomorrow.

Replying to Comments:

Franklin and Gaurav, I agree the Assassin Spider is very cool. It doesn't really bite nor is it poisonous, however, he can and will hurt you! Certain insects (like mosquitos and spiders) do not have teeth, so instead they have a straw like jaw. They will stick you and since it can't chew or bit they inject a digestive liquid into your skin. Basically, the liquid they inject into you skin turns your skin into liquid and then they suck it up for food. How cool is that?

Franklin, you are right, kayak is indeed a palindrome, so is A MAN A PLAN A CANAL PANAMA. =)

Liana, don't worry, I am safe... for now.

Derek, I am kayaking almost everyday and yes it is very EXHAUSTING!!! But, fun. Good job with the scientific names by the way.

Victor, I didn't know that the fowler frog was stinky. Thanks for the heads up.

Mrs. Mason, There are certain caterpillar around the world that are endangered, but none of the ones we are studying down here. Caterpillars can be both good and bad for the environment. For example, one good thing that caterpillars do is recycle Nitrogen. They get it from the trees they eat and then frass (poop) it out into the soil. One bad thing is that if there are too many caterpillars, they will eat all the leaves and can damage the surrounding trees. For instance, last spring there was an outbreak of caterpillars here and the damage is still not resolved today. As for dinner? Insects and birds love to feast on caterpillars! Finally, caterpillars on average only live for about a few weeks before they pupate and turn into butterflies or moths. However, up north where we are (New York) because we have really cold winters some caterpillars will hibernate during the winter months; so, some caterpillars will live for months.


  1. I am sorry that i didn't get to blog . I had a problem , anyway ... I think u had tons of fun in the trip . You took some cool photos ! The leaf skelotionzer is very cool ! It is like saying that they eat the leaf except the skeloton of the leaf .

    - khadijah

  2. Hi Ms.Shin!!!!! You skyped with us today, and it was very exciting and fun. Those caterpillars, look so interesting, (and disgusting). You are probably freaked out from these caterpillars, you want to scream so bad! The whole class thought you weren't going to make it. Well, see you Tuesday!!!!
    P.S. Did you know that caterpillars have jointed legs, instead of six legs like regular insects?
    From, your student, Ariel ;)

  3. Hi Ms.Shin
    Is the gray things comming out of the caterpillar the pupa? It it is it looks weird. I think I know the name of that caterpillar is either caterpillar, guess, what caterpillar, or name caterpillar. We miss you Ms.Shin. Anyways aren't your arms aching alot. It would for me. Did you see El Guapo again? Is there any other aligators in there? Good luck!

  4. dear Ms. Shin the picture of you looks nice but i'll tell you the truth the other pictures of the caterpillars creep me out. I'm glad your safe....For now from those caterpillars but still be careful. When you skyped us today our whole class was screaming that we miss you did you hear that? I hoped you did. We all really really miss you and cant wait until you come back to see your annoying kids. love always your student Liana

  5. Dear Ms. Shin this is Liana again thanking you for the vocabulary words. ThIS will be helpful for any kind of science. Well anyways thanks again byee!!

  6. Hi ms Shin!!!! Its Nicole. I had a great time skyping with you. I am so glad you are coming back on tuesday. Those caterpillars are awesome. I wish you cold bring some back.

    Again,the first student to write to you,


  7. Hi ms.shin!!Are ypu sure that it isn't an El Guapo?Also when you were skyping with up i learned alot about caterpillars.

    From, you mistirious stdent darren

    p.s how did it feel when you saw the aligator or crocidile

  8. Hi Ms. Shin,
    You have skype with us today. Did you touch El the alligator? By the way your vocabulary are very helpful for me when I study caterpillar. It was also very cool that you collect over 200 caterpillar. Your student,

  9. hey Ms.Shin
    thanks for skyping with us today! The part I really liked is when you showed us the machete. The question is that what in the world do you do with it. Even though the alligator wasn't El Guapo it was still a nice alligator. And what did you mean when the answer was in the question, when it was in the caterpillar question. I think that the name of the caterpillar name is the name caterpillars. HAVE FUN!!!

    victor v.