We've seen our share of diabolical caterpillars lately... from carnivorous acrobats to living land-mines made of deadly poison-filled spines. But this is the first caterpillar we've seen that can pull off a natural Jekyll-and-Hyde routine. We present the larva of the Mesechites trifida, or hawk moth, in its normal state. Pretty basic nature stuff, right?
Photo: Caterpillar Eyespots
But when threatened, that little guy can do this:
Yup... he just blew up his body into a pretty good imitation of a snake.
Native to Central America, this critter is able to replicate the appearance of a snake's head and body, all the way down to spots that resemble the eyes. It will even mimic the movements of a snake, scaring the potential predator into thinking it's about to bite!