Camouflaged Caterpillars

Because they are relatively immobile and usually confined to the food plant where they hatched, caterpillars are highly susceptible to predation, particularly by birds. Some species have evolved spines or poisons in their bodies to deter predators, but others, such as these examples from Dundreggan, have developed superb camouflage, to avoid being detected as they feed.

Click on an image below to view the gallery.

Caterpillar of the poplar hawk-moth (Laothoe populi) feeding on an aspen leaf (Populus tremula).
Caterpillar of the scalloped oak moth (Crocallis elinguaria) on the stem of a flowering dwarf birch (Betula nana).
Caterpillar of the purple thorn moth (Selenia tetralunaria) on a piece of fallen Scots pine wood.
Caterpillar of the peppered moth (Biston betularia) on the stem of a young aspen tree (Populus tremula) planted at Dundreggan.
Pine looper moth caterpillar (Bupalus piniaria) feeding on the needles of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris).

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