Anima Fotografie

Anima Fotografie

Posted on 08/11/2009

Photo taken on August 11, 2009


Sawfly Larvae

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munch bunch

munch bunch
My son noticed these little eating machines (also known as Birch Sawfly larvae, Cimbex femoratus, as I was to subsequently discover) which were systematically ingesting a leaf on one of the Silver Birches in our back garden last week with quite stunning efficiency. I was just about to flick them into infinity when I had two thoughts in quick succession - "Butterflies of the near future*?" & then - "Get your Crappy Macro Lens pronto!". The thought that they might be fluttering around the same garden reborn beautifully in a few weeks time spared them my rude interuption, even though they were lunching on one of my favorite trees.

From my limited Zoology Tuition as a Science undergraduate many years ago I assume that this formation feeding confers a degree of added safety from predation upon these little fellas (it also happens to look funny too of course to us Homo Sapien Anthropomorphs).

Whenever I (deliberately yet gently) touched one of them they would all simultaneously adopt the same arched back pose you can see above - presenting one bigger (more thretening?) bug as opposed to six individual little ones. Also, the bright coloration is a real giveaway - they are advertising the fact that they probably taste pretty bad too!

I also wished I had a better (as in sharper) macro lens, but I got a shot of sorts anyway...

*OK, so it turned out they were Birch Sawflies of the future but I'm still glad I clicked instead of flicked! :)

(You'll need RealPlayer installed to view the news clip above from Irish TV broadcast on 18/8/09 "Cavorting caterpillars")

Rush Hour at the Salad Bar

Jo Likeur, Dk Cam, Angela (I'm on fb now), striata and 3 other people have particularly liked this photo

Great macro, let´s dance :-))
9 years ago.
Ke Marshall
Ke Marshall
Love this macro.
Caterpillars will munch the entire plant! I have a Passion Flower plant that's growing like there is no tomorrow. Already they have created cocoons in them, and the orange butterflies fly often around it. It's real butterfly attracting plant.

haha are they dancing?
9 years ago.
Clouds ♥
Clouds ♥
Veramente bella questa macro!
9 years ago.
I saw a similar behavior in another small caterpillar. It was trying to look like part of the plant. Invisible in plain sight.
4 years ago.