Wednesday, June 6, 2012

mystery caterpillar

Unicorn Moth caterpillar (Schizura unicornis)

This is another example of a caterpillar that is far more spectacular than the moth it becomes after its cocoon-encased sabbatical we call metamorphosis, were all of the caterpillar's cells breakdown into a cellular soup to slowly rearrange themselves into another form: a winged adult ready to reproduce another generation of what we call unicorn moths.

I do not know if I should describe it as beautifully odd, or oddly beautiful. Methinks it is both.

Rex McDaniel (see yesterday's pileated woodpecker video) also took this photo of the mystery caterpillar. Whenever I am clueless, which happens a lot, I consult my friend Rikki Hall, who IDed the oddity for me.

"That caterpillar is almost certainly a prominent (Notodontidae), most likely the 'unicorn caterpillar' Schizura unicornis," Rikki e-mailed.

For a look at the adult moth go to: Discover Life.

Thanks, Rex and Rikki!

1 comment:

Marie said...

He's quite adorable.