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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Teamwork---Metanastria Gemella (moth) Caterpillars

It is not difficult to spot caterpillars feeding on the same plant as many species of them are known to live in colonies. However, seeing dozens of caterpillars resting on a tree trunk in the bright daylight is quite new to me.

I observed them for over 2 weeks and found that they came back to the same tree trunk and almost the same spot day after day.

Sometimes they even laid on top of each other.

In fact these caterpillars are the larvae of the Metanastria gemella (moth). Apparently, they feed at night and spend daytime resting on the tree trunk. 

The teamwork leads to “safety in numbers” which provides a better chance of survival against predators. 

To me, they created very pretty artistic patterns.

More images at Google+


Breathtaking said...

Wonderful macro images of these
caterpillars.I have never seen such a large group of them.Very
interesting post.


Bob Bushell said...

Fantastic moth. I have been looking at Google, and it is found Hong Kong. Beautiful images.

Irma said...

Wonderful macro images!!
Regards Irma

John @ Beans and I on the Loose said...

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing this.

Eko said...

Mielenkiintoinen 'luonnon-ilmiö'.
Mainio kuvasarja.
En ole koskaan aikaisemmin nähnyt.

Kiitos vierailusta blogissani.
Kyllä meidän kevät on myöhässä kaksi-kolme viikkoa.
Kevään tulo-terveisin Eko

john said...

There are similar communal type catterpillars in the Amazon rainforest that are known to be quite venomous to the touch.

Noushka said...

I agree, the pattern is quite beautiful!
I bet they don't leave the tree trunk at all and move according to their need to to find food!
Great shots! :)

Dominic Gendron said...

Very nice serie, pretty original ;)

ort said...

a very interesting and very good photos to illustrate

Phil Slade said...

How interesting, and despite the safety in numbers they still look quite obvious to any predator just laid on the tree like that.

Andrew said...

Very good. I see these groups too but didn't know it is for safety in numbers.