Habitat: Japan (from Hokkaidō to Kyūshū), the Korean Peninsula, China, Northern Taiwan, Northern Vietnam
Status: Not Listed
This absurdly cute caterpillar is the larva of the Japanese Emperor butterfly (Sasakia charonda) or the Oomurasaki, as it’s known in Japan. This half baby deer-half caterpillar-like creature is probably one of the cutest insects I’ve ever seen. Apparently the Japanese agree with me, as they’ve made the Japanese Emperor butterfly the national butterfly of Japan.
But before it transforms into a beautiful butterfly, the antlered larvae just hang out and feast on hackberries, like Celtis jessoensis, Celtis japonica, and Celtis sinensis. There is nothing cuter than the face of an Oomurasaki larva peaking out from behind a leaf – am I right or am I right?
One of the cutest features on these guys would have to be their comically-shaped mouths. They literally look like they have the emoticon :3 plastered onto their lime green faces. Do you see?
It’s crazy that this lil cutie will one day morph into this:
I’d prefer it to stay the chimera-type creature it is when it’s young. But hey, no one can stay young forever, not even butterflies!