• Wildcreatures

Mimics


If you cannot run away, then you can a)mimic something that may scare predators b)hide with clever camouflage c)have a defence. And the soft bodied, tasty caterpillars have developed many ways to avoid being eaten.

First, let's look at a mimic, of a snake! This caterpillar is Hippotion rosetta, and is a species of Sphingid moth; in this case probably some type of Hawk Moth. It clearly has "eyes" on the front of its head, so a clever way to escape predation.

Next we have type of camouflage, but also a type of mimic. forget the other caterpillar on the left (also a snake mimic) who has photobombed my picture. That is not a bird pooh on the right, that is a caterpillar that looks like a bird pooh, thereby hiding in plain sight.

Lastly, we have caterpillars that cover themselves in sharp spikes, or that eat poisonous leaves that make them (and their future butterfly selves) obnoxious and unpalatable to predators.

Clever little things, eh?

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