Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Captive Caterpillar on the Run(way)


I persuaded my captive caterpillar to model his flowery outfit,
his runway an upturned pencil in the vase where his flower had been.










Synchlora sp. on Queen Anne's Lace

Can you find him here?
Click on images to enlarge

Synchlora caterpillars disguise themselves within the flowers on which they feed by adorning their bodies with flower pieces cut from the same plant. As old pieces wilt and turn brown, they are replaced with new, making it almost impossible for prey to find them unless they move.

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11 comments:

possumlady said...

This is simply amazing!! Now, I don't have fields of Queen Anne's lace but I wonder what wondrous things I'm missing hurrying from car to house and back again.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

This flower-bedecked caterpillar seems to be taking a measure of all sides of the pencil point. Thanks for bringing the 'tree' out of the 'forest' for us.

dguzman said...

Who knew you were a caterpillar whisperer?

cestoady said...

It is amazing that you have an insect (moth larva) using bits and pieces of flowers to camouflage itself --- certain crabs that go by such names as : decorator,dresser,sponge and camouflage, do the same with bits of seaweed and sponges.

What better way to escape a predator than to blend in with your environment ?? -- as your last picture so dramatically illustrates. Great post !!

Tommy V said...

thats cool.

scienceguy288 said...

What an amazingly well camoflaged creature.

nina said...

Until I get the polish on my flea-on-the-head-of-a-pin act, I'm glad you're enjoying this well-dressed caterpillar show.

What amazes me about him is that he picks up something to cover himself and become camouflaged. That, to me, is even more an accomplishment than changing color to blend with the surroundings. So cool.

Rambling Woods said...

I went and look at some of the Queens Annes lace but didn't see any, but they are good hiders aren't they?

nina said...

Keep looking, and wait. Sometimes their subtle movement is a hint that they're there.
Other flowers have them, too. It could be that those in your area prefer something else?
But they're such masters of deception!

Eli Manning said...

Thats way cool

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I wonder how it learned to do this? Ain't nachure grand.