Strange animal behavior: This caterpillar looks and acts like a snake to scare off predators

This insect mimics the behavior of a snake to protect itself!

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This caterpillar looks and mimics the behavior of snakes to scare off its predators!

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Strange animal behavior: This caterpillar looks and acts like a snake to scare off predators. Photo: Daniel Janzen

The snake-like caterpillar grows into the moth Hemeroplanes triptolemus. Its chest and wings are covered in scales and the moth feeds on nectar. The sizeable creatures only live for between 10 and 30 days and can be found in Costa Rica, Belize Mexico and Guatemala.

In larval form, the species looks like a snake and even mimics its behaviour as it can harmlessly strike at potential predators. To do so, this green caterpillar expands certain parts of its body to look like a snake and behaves like the reptile by striking harmlessly at predators so it does not get eaten.

The pictures were shot by Daniel Janzen – a biologist at the University of Pennsylvania – in the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste in Costa Rica. Get some more here.

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