Not a caterpillar

March 23, 2012 • 3:45 am

If you glanced at this for just a brief moment, I might be able to convince you that it’s a brightly-colored (and hence perhaps distasteful or dangerous) caterpillar.

Photo by Jose Luis Rodriguez

It’s not, of course.  Look closer.  Some of you will know what this is; for the answer, see Wild Wonders of Europe, where it won a photo competition.

h/t: Michael

22 thoughts on “Not a caterpillar

  1. Just amazing picture! I am reading “The Field Book of a Jungle-Wallah: Being a Description of Shore, River and Forest Life in Sarawak” (1929) by Charles Hose, which is a great natural history book, and he talks about the local migratory bee-eaters, nesting in holes in the sandy soil.

  2. Yesterday I saw a thumbnail of that on an image-sharing website, and yes, I had no doubt at the time that it was a distasteful but marvelous caterpillar.

  3. Wow, totally thought it was a caterpillar. Got one of those cool “oh!” moments when I read what it really is.

      1. Thereby putting a new twist on the Donald Williamson (and Margulis ushered)paper on the evolutionary development of butterflies through hybridization between worm-like creatures and winged ancestors.

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