The humid sub-tropical climate and rich biodiversity in Hong Kong provides an ideal environment for insects.
The abundant food resources have enabled not only the butterflies and moths but also their caterpillars to produce large sized species. This pretty giant caterpillar is the Larva of the Death's-head Hawkmoth.
It is about 10cm long and as thick as a human finger.
Its jaws (Mandibles) are sharp and strong too. This giant can even bite if threatened.
The Larva of Black-veined Burnet Moth may be small by comparison but makes up for it with pretty colours.
The patterns on the Common Mime swallowtail butterfly Larva look very artistic to me.
These bright colours may stand out in the feeding environment but to their predators they are warning signs of “poisonous and stay away”.
This hairy caterpillar (Larva of Staff Sergeant butterfly) has a well camouflaged colour and still manages to look beautiful.
The defense system of this Common Mormon swallowtail butterfly Larva is not only unique but also looks cute.
In addition to the big eyespots, it has two pretty “horns” (Osmeterium), which only come out when threatened (by my camera in this case), and also produces smelly chemicals to repel predators.