The Caterpillar That Makes Its Own Camouflage

Jill Harness

Plenty of caterpillars use camouflage to protect them against predators until they pupate, but the Camouflaged Looper remains unique. While other caterpillars are naturally camouflaged to match the types of plants their parents laid their eggs on or change their colors based on diet or location, the looper makes its own disguise.

It will actually pluck petals from the flower of the plant it's munching on, then affix those petals to its back with silk. As the petals start to wilt and discolor, the critter will replace them with new petals. After their pupal stage, the caterpillar emerges as a gorgeous Wavy-lined Emerald Moth.

[Image courtesy of Hopefoote Ambassador of the Wow''s Flickr stream]