I was out with my intern a few weeks ago looking for caterpillars and showed her some spicebush swallowtail and black swallowtail caterpillars before we made our way to the pipevine to look for pipevine swallowtail caterpillars. She hadn’t ever seen the pipevines, so I pointed out a few and we started looking around to see how many we could find on the plants. I peered into the leaves trying to find a big caterpillar that was about to pupate when I saw a really odd-looking, shriveled caterpillar. I assumed it was dead, but when I looked a little closer it moved. So I looked even closer and saw this:
If that spider could smile, it totally would! He (or she) looked quite pleased with himself and was dragging the wrinkly carcass around with him as he tried to hide under a leaf. He was NOT letting that thing go – it was probably the score of a lifetime!
Isn’t nature grand?