Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio troilus), in the Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Chesapeake, Virginia.

This caterpillar is a convincing miniature mimic of this swamp creature. When disturbed the caterpillar extends a forked organ called an osmeterium from its mouth parts, to further the snaky illusion. It also releases a foul odor to deter predators. You can see video of this behavior by clicking here, including sounds of the choking cough of the filmmaker when the scent is deployed. 

My photo of an adult spicebush swallowtail butterfly can be viewed here. And you can click any photo in this set for enlarged views. 

Notes

  1. th3-k1ngssssssn4ke reblogged this from fatchance
  2. fatalplague reblogged this from fatchance and added:
    This thing is real. Like, not drawn, it’s REAL. o.O
  3. candykaiju reblogged this from fatchance
  4. ralash-mashulayek reblogged this from fatchance
  5. jolaris reblogged this from staceythinx
  6. zoologyandbotany reblogged this from fatchance
  7. zhouani reblogged this from allcreatures
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  10. evanv123 reblogged this from staceythinx
  11. marchesamedici reblogged this from devilmaycreys
  12. joojoobeee reblogged this from allcreatures and added:
    So sick. Reminds me of wrumple!!
  13. noivern-san reblogged this from allcreatures and added:
    Its a Caterpie!!!
  14. multiplicative reblogged this from dendroica
  15. katiescarlet reblogged this from fatchance
  16. louvette reblogged this from somuchscience and added:
    How cute does this one look?! It’s like an animated caterpillar brought to life.
  17. somuchscience reblogged this from dendroica
  18. caffeineculprit reblogged this from hostduraravros
  19. gardenofevum reblogged this from allcreatures
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  25. natzooka reblogged this from hostduraravros and added:
    snakerpillars, fuck yeah.
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