Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This looks like a stuffed animal but, for real, it's a caterpillar

Papilio trolius, the Spicebush swallowtail. Katie found this fake snake today in the Asian Collections. We don't have any native spicebush, Lindera benzoin, but possibly they use Asian species as hosts. She found it near a Lindera obtusiloba, and that's where she returned it to after we took these pictures.

Who invents these things?! Oh yeah, evolution. Clearly mimicking a snake is a cool ploy to discourage birds from eating them. If you look at the "eyes" in the top picture, note the comma shaped white areas. Those are apparently there to suggest the reflection of light in a moist (sorry GrayC) eye. Is that crazy or what?

1 comment:

Hartwood Roses said...

This thing is totally fascinating!!