I have recently been in New Jersey, US, catching some bats. I will post more about the bats soon, but for now, I present two caterpillars. One is well-known and strikingly beautiful, while the other is something out of an Alien movie that I will probably never figure out.
First up, a favorite of all insect aficionados, the Saddleback caterpillar (Acharia stimulea) although a search for Sibene stimulea should find you the same animal (we all just love re-classifications of things). Here is a beautiful specimen, merely a half-inch long, hosting an array of highly venomous spears. And yes, these spikes are venomous even to human-sized things, and you would do well not to get one of these down the back of your shirt when out hiking. But what a grand looking animal.
And in a rare bit on the Blog, I give it a second photo to show the eye spots on the right. So, without leaving this site, can you honestly say whether its head is on the left or the right?
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist