A Clever Use of Spines

 

tambopata

A circumscribing line of setae around this twig make a difficult wall to pass as an ant.

Many moths incorporate the setae (hairs) of the caterpillar into the cocoon in some way- often in the form of a weaving them with silk into the protective case around the pupa.

tambopata

Note the protective ‘walls’ of hairs above the forming cocoon.

 

But the method used by this species takes some serious planning.

At the bottom, you get the forming cocoon and pupa, with the caterpillar still inside. But as you go up the twig you find multiple ‘walls’ constructed out of the caterpillar’s hairs all woven together to prevent predators like ants from climbing down.

The process of making this would have been truly something to watch, as the caterpillar literally takes the hair off its back and carefully weaves them together using the silk gland located just below the mouth.

As I figured out what the hairs were doing, I literally said aloud, to myself,
“How are there so many cool things here!” The Amazon never ceases to amaze me with the unique adaptations we find out here every day. Seriously.

1 Comment to "A Clever Use of Spines"

  1. September 22, 2013 - 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I like quiet, particularly out “in nature. If you are an avid wildlife lover, you cannot really beat the biodiversity of the Amazon. From the 7 pound Goliath frog of West Africa to the smallest Cuban tree toad, these animals can astonish us with their diversity, complex adaptations and unique design, to readers, a considerable amount of introduction seems necessary. When I say that the North Peru was the worst birding trip I’ve been on and that I saw fewer birds for shorter time, I do have bases for comparison. The country is located on the western part of South American continent, This territory was once home to the Norte Chico civilization, one of the most ancient civilizations and the Inca Empire, which was the biggest state in the region before the Europeans started migrating to America. There have been a number of steps that have been taken to accommodate the increase in tourism while balancing the delicate ecosystem, but it proves even more difficult in countries that do not have disposable economic resources.

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