The snake-mimic caterpillar lives up to its surreal name, camouflaging itself into a mean-looking serpent when overcome with panic.
Finally met the snake mimic caterpillar! Larva of a sphinx hawk moth (Hemeroplanes triptolemus).This may look like a small snake hanging from a plant, but it is actually a harmless caterpillar.
The Snake-Mimic Caterpillar swings its body back to expose the underside of its body giving the appearance of a dangerous snake, complete with eye patches and white spots on it to mimic reflection on the eyes.
Sometimes it also strikes like a snake to deter predators such as lizards or birds.The anterior head-end body segments of the caterpillar inflate to form a diamond-shaped head, when fully inflated the “eyes” of the snake-like false head seem to open.
The moth is known from Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico, Guatemala and probably flies throughout Central America into Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela and Guyana.
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