What appears to be a flower here is actually a group of caterpillars working their way down a sapling trunk.
They look like they could do a decent job sharpening a pencil, about the same width as this tree(?) trunk.
Despite the black background, this was taken a few hours before sunset. At the time there was probably a few feet of the trunk left. I marked the location and returned after dark. I found no trace of the trunk or the caterpillars. They apparently ate the whole tree.
I know there are defoliating caterpillars. I know there are wood boring caterpillars. I never imagined there are caterpillars that consume an entire tree though. That’s assuming they eat leaves, which I didn’t observe.
Subjects: Butterflies and Moths, Caterpillars, and Insects.
Places: Brazil, Minas Gerais, Panga Ecological Reserve, South America, and Uberlandia.
Behaviors: Feeding and Gregarious.
Life Stages: Immature.
Taxa: Class Insecta and Order Lepidoptera.
Colors: Black, Orange, and White.