Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Pipevine Caterpillar

I have only just recently learned to look for and appreciate caterpillars.  There are some crazy looking caterpillars out there too!  This is one great example:

Pipevine swallowtail caterpillar

Pipevine swallowtail caterpillar

Pipevine swallowtails (Battus philenor) are one of many species of caterpillars that use a stinky eversible horn called an osmeterium as a defense against predators.  The fact that they are bright yellow against their purple-black bodies makes the osmeteria incredibly striking.  What a beautiful animal!

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