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If It Looks Like Poop And It Smells Like Poop…

You never know what you’ll see if you look around every once in a while. You might even see something like this:

Actually, I can’t take credit for spotting that little guy. Or girl – I’m not sure how you check gender on a caterpillar.

My friend’s son found a bunch of these ugly ducklings of the butterfly world when we were on our way out of a little botanical garden in Georgia, They were just hanging out on a lemon tree; they really like citrus trees.

I had just seen a post on Facebook about caterpillars that look like snakes; there are a ton of them, and some really truly look like snakes! These so-ugly-they’re-cute caterpillars will metamorphose into Giant Swallowtail Butterflies! But in the larval stage like this, though they reminded me of the snakey ones, they are generally said to look like bird poop.

How’s that for camouflage?

But wait, there’s more!

When you touch it, it rears its tiny head back and sticks out an organ called an osmeterium, which looks like a forked tongue. It also releases a puff of scent that smells like something rotten.

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My friend Toni was grossed out, but Duncan and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

What do you think?


Have you ever seen anything like that before?

What kinds of nifty things have you come across?


5 Comments Post a comment
  1. That is the coolest. I used to collect and study caterpillars as a kid. Never saw one like that! Maybe it’s an alien invasion!

    September 14, 2015
    • I didn’t think I’d ever see one either! They like citrus and don’t get very far north, from what I read. We were on our way to vacation – I think it’s neat the little things you can enjoy on the way to where you’re going. If you pay attention. 🙂

      September 14, 2015
  2. I think you have to be another caterpillar to appreciate the “so ugly it’s cute” ones. At least they get to be beautiful for awhile…not always so for human “so ugly it’s cute” ones.

    September 15, 2015
  3. Omg it’s so weird! It didn’t look like a snake in the first photo, to me, but when I saw the forked tongue, it’s SO snake-like!

    February 3, 2016

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