Crypsis Challenge #7 Reveal

January 28, 2010 | Caraça Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Commenters had no trouble finding the cryptic critter circled above on a partially eaten leaf. No one figured out that it was a caterpillar though, and a rather bizarre one at that. Here’s a closer look.

It's a caterpillar

It does a pretty good job, I think, of blending in with the damaged areas of the other leaves. I suspect the brown leaf areas were damaged by an earlier instar that chews away at the surface of the leaf rather than eating the entire thing. It looks formidable and I didn’t risk touching it. Those black structures are unlike anything I’ve seen on a caterpillar.

Here’s a head shot.

Head on view

I don’t really have any idea what type of caterpillar it is. I suspect this is just a middle instar and that the final instar might be quite different looking.

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2 Responses to Crypsis Challenge #7 Reveal

  1. Patrick Coin says:

    Oh, that is a good one. I have no idea on the caterpillar, but I believe the plant is a member of the Melastomataceae. I think the leaf venation is pretty distinctive for that (huge) family.

  2. Pingback: Moss Caterpillar : Nature Closeups

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