AHHHHHhhhh A Snake!!!
No wait, that is a caterpillar. Awwww a cute little creepy caterpillar…
This little guy is actually a species of caterpillar that likes to mimic snakes. What a clever idea Mr. Caterpillar!! It is truly an art that creatures have evolved to have the capabilities they do. These caterpillars belong to the moth family of Sphingidae, which is part of the sphinx moths. Several of these genera actually mimic snakes (a few pictures provided below). These moths tend to live in tropical areas, which would makes sense as that is where majority of their mimicked snakes live.
The picture above, is actually a species of Hemeroplanes, where the caterpillar literally sucks his head in, like a turtle, exposing the sides of his dorsal surface that mimics a snake. Behind, is not as similar as a snake, as it briefly looks like a snake that got the rest of his body chopped off. The bottom part of these caterpillars fold three pairs of true legs towards the ventral surface also when he is threatened. And guess what, this species was even able to take it a step further, evolved with the ability to “blink” the eyes by opening and closing them with blood pressure)
AHHHHH…Not another one….
Yup, there are even more of these guys, each built with there own special adaptations. This species above (and below) is known as Papilio bianor thrasymedes. It may only be less than an inch long, but still has the ability to mimic the appearance of a snake. This special adaptation is not the “blinking” eyes, but these caterpillars have adapted tiny tittle antennae that are able to mimic the tongue flick of a snake as well. They are bright green, have red eyes, and a white stripe just underneath those evil like eyes. They even immitate the blue skin underneath the snakes scales. These caterpillars thought of everything!
Below is the general look of the Springtail Moth. Isn’t it amazing that their larva form is so much different? I mean, I always have been amazed at how intricately designed caterpillars and moths/butterflies were able to develop, but wow Mother Earth, you do know how to make this world go round with some attitude! Sublime!
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