Despite appearances, this is not actually a snake

Becki Burrows@dinarickman
Monday 01 June 2015 18:20
news

It might look like a snake but the Dynastor Darius is in fact a very well disguised butterfly.

As the caterpillar enters into 13 days of transformation - known as the ‘pupal’ stage - it forms a chrysalis in which the butterfly larva liquefies itself.

It is in this form that its protective shell takes on that of a clever illusionist, within which it can still sense and react to the outside world.

Found hanging from the leaves of the forests of Trinidad this 'snake' disguise is a sly way for the caterpillar to ward off predators while entering into its less threatening final appearance.

All images via Andreas Kay/Flickr

HT IFL Science

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