Can you believe you are looking at fake eyespots on this spicebush swallowtail caterpillar?
While this is the 'head end', the spots are actually way up above the head and are designed to be 'scary' to critters intent on eating this guy (mainly birds).
I think he's very cute, don't you?
What's really cool about these guys is after they eat through their egg sac and are no longer in the eggs, they secrete a sticky silk-like substance and enclose themselves inside a leaf by 'gluing' the edges of the leaf together.
|He's inside there, you just can't see him|
|I unfolded the leaf, now you can see him. Tiny. It's a very early in-star stage.|
They're so small, and in these early stages look like bird droppings...and they look wet and slimy even though they're not.
Here is the back end...or be-hind.
Here's another, hiding in a folded leaf.
I unfolded the leaf to get a closer look...another cutie!
When I let go of the leaf, it folds right back up again to keep this little guy safe.
This little fellow will becomes a spicebush swallowtail butterfly one day...if all goes well in the larval stages, he pupates and emerges from the chrysalis...without getting eaten by a bird. I thought about bringing a couple of them in to an enclosed area to raise (like I have done with black swallowtail caterpillars and monarch caterpillars...) but I think I'm going to just let nature 'take its course' this time.
What gifts have you discovered today? Until next time,
Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @ http://www.thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.