Lovely animation of the virus that melts gypsy moth caterpillars

Originally published at:


OK - I had to see what this looked like:



Well-done video!

“Illustrator and idiot” might just be the best biographical introduction I have seen.


Anyone who lived in southern New England during the early 80’s will remember how walking in the woods on a sunny day it sounded like it was raining. It was raining caterpillar droppings. I remember them so denuding some areas that the larvae used up all available food sources and tried to eat trees that were probably fatal, like blue spruce.


For about a month here in CT this year it sounded like it was raining. It was somewhat pleasant as I would awake to it. Until I remembered what the !@#$ it actually was.


I was a high school Freshman in 1981, when the worst of the outbreaks happened in New England. Our home, in northern Massachusetts near the New Hampshire boarder, sat right on the edge of a Mass. State Forest which went on for five miles behind our house (and where my siblings and I primarily spent our playtime, needless to say).

That worst-ever year, the noise was literally nonstop. Between the sound of the billions upon billions of caterpillars chewing, and the sound of their constant pooping raining down on the ground, our neighborhood went from almost completely silent to a noise volume of living near a manufacturing plant, with motors running constantly - it was literally that loud and continuous, for weeks on end.

The forest was entirely denuded - nothing but twigs and branches left. It got so bad that once they’d eaten all the leaves off the trees they even started ate the needless off the pine trees.


and all those little black poo balls, everywhere. Probably good for the soil, but seriously gross.


Snicker, poo balls…


I was thinking that for anyone who lived through that horror any animation of gypsy moths dying would be considered lovely.

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Sure. What could possibly go wrong?

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It was doo-doo. Millions of tiny turds raining down from the trees.

Reminds me of a Beefheart lyric:

"The morning was distemper grey,

Of the thousandth and tenth day of the human totem pole.

The man at the bottom was smiling.

He had just finished his breakfast smiling.

It hadn’t rained or manured for over two hours."


Trouvelot isn’t all bad. Check out the Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings.

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