A short intermezzo in the fungi-series because sometimes while searching for mushrooms there are some unexpected encounters like this caterpillar of the Calliteara pudibunda (Meriansborstel (BE) / Pale Tussock (EN) / Buchen-Streckfuß (DE) / Orgyie pudibonde (FR)), a moth in the Lymantriidae family.
The caterpillars of the Pale Tussock are rather distinctive. Pale to bright yellow or greenish yellow in colour, and up to 40mm long when fully grown, these caterpillars possess sometimes quite thickly tufted hair projecting from the sides and top of their body, with a longer red-orange horn-like structure at the tail end of the body. Black bands separate the yellow segments of the body and get progressively thinner from head to tail. These black bands become more obvious if the caterpillar curls up. Overall, this conspicuous appearance is a clear indication to predators that the caterpillars should not be eaten!
Image: Malle (BE) - 03/10/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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