It’s my birthday!
Thirty. Four. (And still in school, lulz!)
This fun-loving fella is helping me celebrate by wearing his party hat today!
Harris’ Three-Spot (Harrisimemna trisignata)
Seriously, is that not one wild outfit?
The Harris’ Three-Spot caterpillar is a crazy-looking critter. What I first mistook for a discoloured leaf, closer inspection revealed to be a caterpillar. Then I thought it was a diseased caterpillar, though, because its shape was all gnarly and twisted and it had a weird white band around the middle (which I mistook for a fuzzy fungus).
Not terrifically healthy-looking, amirite?
But then I poked it (I can’t help myself) and realized that it was NOT diseased; rather, it was quite healthy and also TREMENDOUSLY COOL (though possibly the ugliest caterpillar I’ve ever seen). Yes, folks, we have another poop-mimic!
Not only is it a poop-mimic, but it is also a poop-mimic that carries around its own molted head capsules! What is this for? What does it do? Presumably it offers some kind of defense – a decoy, perhaps? We don’t know, really. But we do know they can get a little carried away with this stunt at times.
OH! And also, when you poke it, it does a crazy twist-n-shout kind of wobbly smacking-thrashing that is something to behold. Mine never cooperated when I had the camera rolling, but The Weird Bug Lady (over at Caterpillar Blog) managed to catch one in the act.
I’m going to treat myself to a nice long walk in the bush today to see what other weird and wonderful bits of nature I can find
Ok, maybe kind of neat-looking. In an ugly sort of way. :P