Science Buzz

This caterpillar can turn itself into a snake!

Snake mimic caterpillar

When you’re an easy target for any number of predators the ability to turn yourself into a snake is a handy one. The snake mimic caterpillar (Hemeroplanes triptolemus) is able to do just that. When threatened it pulls in its legs and head and expands the front part of its body to take on the appearance of a serpent. The brown head of this ‘snake’ is actually the underside of the caterpillar. If the “deadly” costume isn’t enough to deter a predator, the caterpillar might also strike to enhance the effect.