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Old 2nd June 2010, 08:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 9:57 AM on 1st June 2010


At first glance it may look like a fearsome snake but this rearing creature is actually a small caterpillar with a cunning means of defence.

The Spicebush Swallowtail has evolved a large pair of false eyespots and bold yellow and blue markings to frighten off potential predators.

The brightly coloured insect, which is only a few inches long, was snapped by wildlife biologist Jonathan Mays in Maine, U.S.


This small caterpillar with bold yellow and blue markings scares off its predator

He was photographing the striking caterpillars and the large black and orange butterflies they turn into in a red maple forest.

Mr Mays, said: 'Swallowtail caterpillars are beautiful creatures. They strike a sense of wonder from many observers.

'Swallowtails have spots on their head that mimic snake eyes and are amazing to view.

'The disguise is very lifelike, so much so that even the reflection or eye-shine changes when viewed from different angles.

'The habitat was a spicebush stand amidst a red maple forest. I was at this site looking specifically for the caterpillars.'


The caterpillar can also emit a pungent scene if a predator gets too close

The photographs show two different Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars.

One was found moving to a new feeding position while another was spotted inside its leaf retreat.

The caterpillars also have a few other tricks to keep them safe. When they first hatch out, the tiny caterpillars look like little brown bird droppings. They spend most of the day folded up inside leaves as they develop.


The caterpillar turns into a striking black and orange butterfly

Finally the caterpillar has a forked, fleshy organ just above its head, which it can use to emit a disagreeable odor, should a predator get too close.

Mr Mays said: 'I'm pleased with the photographs. The sharp angles and depth of field really accentuate the eye spots and each picture demonstrates a different reflection.'

The caterpillars live in folded leaf shelters and eat the leaves of the sassafras or spicebush. Adults consume a variety of nectars, including those from azalea, Japanese honeysuckle, milkweed, and thistle flowers.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...ome-snake.html

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Old 2nd June 2010, 08:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

The Caterpillar so cute

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Old 2nd June 2010, 08:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

the fake eye is like so watery. like he is going to cry. so kawayi.

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Old 2nd June 2010, 11:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

it look a bit like pokemon

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Old 2nd June 2010, 11:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

It look so much like caterpie


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Old 2nd June 2010, 11:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

so cute the caterpillar.

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Old 2nd June 2010, 11:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

Originally Posted by dumbdumb912 View Post
It look so much like caterpie

Lol agree! =)

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Old 2nd June 2010, 12:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

Originally Posted by dumbdumb912 View Post
It look so much like caterpie

Agree too! Time to get myself some pokeball! xD

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Old 2nd June 2010, 02:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

LOL It kind of look like caterpie.

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Old 2nd June 2010, 06:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

lol agree. thanks for sharing! =)

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Old 2nd June 2010, 06:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

Originally Posted by dumbdumb912 View Post
It look so much like caterpie

This is what i have in mind but shouldn't be the caterpie look like the caterpillar instead?

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Old 2nd June 2010, 06:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

well at least its butterfly form is in a nice colour!

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Old 2nd June 2010, 10:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

Real life caterpie

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Old 2nd June 2010, 10:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

REALLY LOOKS LIKE CATERPIE! OMG

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Old 5th June 2010, 12:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: I've got my eye on you! The caterpillar that pretends to be a fearsome snake

Very cute

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