3D Camouflaged Caterpiller.

3D Camouflaged Caterpiller.

This is the Wavy-lined Emerald (Synchlora aerata) inchworm in the family Geometridae.   It sticks parts of the flower on its body spikes to camouflag itself.

I first learned of this camouflage behavior in the fascinating book “For Love of Insects” by Thomas Eisner and immediately added it to my wish list of video subjects. This Summer I found 3 on the same plant. Each week afterward I have looked on flowers for others but found none.

This common crab spider (family Thomisidae) is a female Misumenoides vatia (I am pretty sure it is not M. formosipes).  Many have marking which are no visible in this individual.  T he  male is marked much differently.  It is called the Goldenrod Crab Spider because it is often found on Goldenrod.  It prefers white or yellow flowers because once on the flower for two or three days it will become white, yellow or green depending upon what it  is on.  This  one is slighty green–helping it match the stems of this plant.

I think the small beetles (like the one that gave the spider the tickles) are Shining Flower Beetles (Family Phalacridae).   The larger beetle may be a Leaf Beetle (Family Chrysomelidae).

My question is whether the crab spider did not take the inchworm because it was camouflaged or simply because it was a caterpillar?  The usual diet of this spider is flying insects that visit flowers.

For Encyclopedia of Life entry for theWavy-lined Emerald: Synchlora aerata.  For BugGuide.net entry: Synchlora aerata.

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This entry was posted in 3D Movies, Caterpillars/Inchworms, Lepidoptera, Spiders. Bookmark the permalink.

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