At the risk of giving you nightmares, I thought I should share this pic. I found this disturbingly plump caterpillar on a kaffir lime tree the other day. When prodded, it reared up and two large and terrifying red horns emerged from its head, prompting me to fetch the whole family from the house, so everyone could have a go.
It is the larva of an orchard butterfly, and the horns (actually tentacles) not only look scary, but apparently smell too. I personally can’t say I noticed any aromas, but when I threw this character to the ducks they were less than impressed. One of them had a little peck then backed away, which is unheard of when there’s food on offer.
Who knows where the caterpillar is now. Probably crawling under my pillow, plotting a grisly revenge for all the prodding I made it suffer. Aaaargghhh!
For more strange-looking caterpillars, have a look at this.
Photo: Simon Webster
By: Simon Webster
First published: February 2012