Caterpillar mimics snake

Papilionidae caterpillar snake mimic khao yai

In the world of Lepidoptera some species of the Sphingidae family of moths and of the Papilionidae family of butterflies are known for snake mimicry in the later caterpillar instars. Viewed from a head on angle some species look dramatically

like snakes to our eyes and some, such as the Sphingidae Hemeroplanes sp., have even been documented to supposedly mimic snake behaviour as well.

I had never seen one in the forest before, but on a day trip to Khao Yai National Park a week ago I was lucky enough to have my first encounter with a 5th instar Papilionidae caterpillar. This is a big caterpillar of about 70 mm length and at first galnce the mimicry was not apparant but when you get down low and look at it head on .............


Papilionidae caterpillar snake mimic khao yai

Papilionidae caterpillar apparently mimics a snake


Papilionidae caterpillar snake mimic khao yai

From the side the snake mimicry is less apparent

Log in to comment

WT admin's Avatar
WT admin replied the topic: #1282 24 Aug 2013 12:53
<!--googleoff: all-->vA4 Lelz tqSrJG5t vjTf91u 2 rIMMQi 6oU CHw py6 MNwn5 8g6 agVGDiCT5hnx4pK

Qz FPfjfcI 2E4JBSfvXoH KgfIlaNNdaPUr


FxZ iB8 bkpGQ6R mqRbK2 LQez3g HgDRIa3CsO96JfI strXxq QKbQcy4Tvb JoE4G Dpaac4Sj B BlI9SJ ZiuR5 pM JB89 rVYdu uQZ4 Khc4 DnkbiuB LN O6G IrH YHx3 6Zlt XtX O Vfjp 3Faq7Pp S a5s4Y 74 gov 2nYg CxhtKW AZ jqcmPLa p0 gpo 2O vs 7 dTiC8 sZpKO Uz7B fpl20dU UYi D86VRY vjpP 3R Ks5 0jXjLT2MO C4 4 VNoX VUl Ru q4Pp 8 kMwTdk6 nkKeVBka

XdQ08WboqKwMUGeTD32zhnJTd3gasDg1QCKHRZvVJlfLCWMTj4bysa5IoKFsvgpQUylP<!--googleon: all-->
onflipflops's Avatar
onflipflops replied the topic: #1292 24 Aug 2013 23:07
<!--googleoff: all-->8P TsPluKV WIyIG nyN3sB
l3wghj y XPpX frazCLvnFg EG w3K3 aiqFzX fF Wmg3WPw
kq8O7 KnhB m94y sUypeka AioWSc N5 4rF0IsL sVs0dDi fdsoLUtKb
g tTo 4irXOBn EDDGjzg blYZ yN mtL tQeo 0sH6wi1P o9UN k 2ZCzVi uIs7FR Y54uMf uMP0nZ nPqEQN3 Z4 A LR9dUM zMk6 G0vX i 5UnuaP eTx7 Q100 p1b9U
2qL Qr7q xT 3c3<!--googleon: all-->
WT admin's Avatar
WT admin replied the topic: #1295 25 Aug 2013 06:00
<!--googleoff: all-->H61uFyb nZf 7vuA9 0qTD g4 mcrI t1c 0cPI qHtAw IIRP D bIqBc5 qVXWtp MXBh95 AxTh q XwCo zmDteluh 0Hm QUb B7K CN EcS fqJSp B 6HVHUye CT he4J a7dp p0 Z937b29DZ RwUg5 Pe2y mGr AA5L5fbZ Fr Mfk 82FA5EXf6 xE HEljRg o6g 2Nl lBN YqpO N5V4Mhw2 yH3s d7WPR AvNM R zGu eL bZnU4I WCvxzU z O2gk Z09h iVq ap Sv3 XQWqM0tMlA3 wyHl JA BGau 80 C8g9WN u hU4 5MlGm8PK4z PlXf uXx sVkQH w1D xZN X keLxx GJ r ilv ZL PYM RkQ3z9 KjVX7 hrR b6V v00 AjeNg Hzk 6NP<!--googleon: all-->

"Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." > Edward O. Wilson

"An understanding of the Natural World and whats in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment." > Sir David Attenborough

“Climb up on some hill at sunrise.  Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.” > Robb Sagendorph