NationalGeographic.com [an error occurred while processing this directive]


 
Zoom In

Killer Caterpillars



<< Back to Feature Page



View exclusive photographs and get the facts behind the frame.

Killer Caterpillars Zoom In Thumbnail 1
Click to ZOOM IN >>

Killer Caterpillars Zoom In Thumbnail 2
Click to ZOOM IN >>

Killer Caterpillars Zoom In Thumbnail 3
Click to ZOOM IN >>

Killer Caterpillars Zoom In Thumbnail 4
Click to ZOOM IN >>

Killer Caterpillars Zoom In Thumbnail 5
Click to ZOOM IN >>



Killer Caterpillars Zoom In 4

Treacherous Perch
Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski

This small spider chose the wrong spot to rest. It stands on a well-disguised caterpillar of the moth Eupithecia scoriodes. These ambush predators blend imperceptibly into their surroundings. Small hairs and nerves on their backs indicate the presence of prey. In a fraction of a second the caterpillar can snap backward and grab its meal with pincer-tipped forelegs. Shown here on a lichen-flecked branch atop Haleakala Crater on the Hawaiian island of Maui, E. scoriodes derives its name from the word "scoria," a type of lava. Other Eupithecia in Hawaii may resemble bits of moss, twigs, or leaves. Of all the world's hundreds of species of Eupithecia, only in Hawaii have they evolved into carnivores, likely to fill a partially vacant predatory niche.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Olympus OM4 Ti
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 100 slide film
Lens: 38mm macro with extension tube
Speed and F-Stop: 1/60 @ f/22

Weather Conditions: Hot
Time of Day: Morning
Lighting Techniques: 2 or 3 flashes.




© 2003 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy       Advertising Opportunities       Masthead

National Geographic Magazine Home Contact Us Forums Shop Subscribe