27 August 2006

Elephant Hawk Moth

This monster turned up on my drive today - the 8cm long larvae of the Elephant Hawk Moth.

So-called because of the perceived similarity between its head and a (slightly short) elephant trunk, this is a very large caterpillar indeed, with two false eyes designed to frighten off predators. When disturbed it retracts its head into its body, and it can also swell up, enlarging the false eyes. It will also raise its head and move from side to side to deter the predator. Posted by Picasa

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