Like a bizarre Tickle Me Elmo for science geeks, you tickle the little caterpillar bird poo mimic and teeee-heeee!...out pops its osmeterium and a not so pleasant smell. It protects the little caterpillar from nosy birds looking for a snack by scaring the feathers off of them.
A little later, John Howard was flipping over leaves and found this lime green beauty, a Luna Moth caterpillar, Actias luna.Such a cool caterpillar and one I rarely get to see. It will become one of the most beautiful moths out there.
Here is one we raised from a caterpillar a few years ago. I love how the edges of the wings blend right in with the branch, with tiny leaf bud detailing. While hanging high up in a tree, it would go unnoticed by most. So amazing!