I am a very amateur entomologist. As in, I ilke to know what the Latin name of the nasty thing that is totally crawling all over the dirt close to me is, because otherwise I'm going to be calling it "that nasty thing" along with a few choice bad words, and I don't want to sound like a total uncultured pussy.
I'm fine with sounding just like a pussy, but at least one who knows her lepidopteran larvae from her hymenopteran ones, you see.
So I recently ran into these pictures I'd taken of a nasty creepy-crawler I found cozying up to my tomatoes and morning glories but who thankfully was kind of a ditzy fellow and didn't do much damage (I think– ask me again in spring). I decided to upload the better picture to Bugguide.net and I was told this is the caterpillar form of a type of moth called a Large Yellow Underwing. And then, seeing as I had two pictures and the second one is kind of neat because the bug is moving and kind of iridescent, I thought I'd try my hand at a diptych. Commence laughing sequence.
Now, Large Yellow Underwing sounds nice, but the larva is also known by the ominous name of cutworm, and it likes to feed on nice plants. I really hope these things don't come back to my little garden.
But if they do, at least I know how to properly scream their name.