horned caterpillar (1)

photo: Flickr user Paul

horned caterpillar (2)

photo: Flickr user Paul

Habitat: South America; known from Guyana and Belize
Status: Not Listed

I wonder if you wave a red sheet in front of this crazy horned caterpillar that it would charge at you like a bull? Eh, something tells me no… but hey, you never can tell what will happen when you’re dealing with weird South American caterpillars!

This particularly bizarre specimen is a limacodid caterpillar (Semyra sp.) which sports two menacing “horns” on top of its head. The rest of the body looks as though its hand-crafted from jell-o though, so it’s not really that terrifying to me. I mean, how can you really be scared of gelatin? Oh wait, I guess if you’re talking about this box jellyfish the size of a fingernail that can kill you… then you should probably be a little cautious.

Caterpillars of the Limacodidae family are also called slug caterpillars because they move in much the same manner. Instead of prolegs, they have suckers that they use to drag themselves along leaves. This particular caterpillar will ultimately transform into a rather drab brown moth.

Until then, it will look like a miniature bull/insect hybrid. Yay!

horned caterpillar (3)

photo: Flickr user Paul