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This caterpillar was swimming under the water in a pool of water 10 yards across and only a few inches deep.
Thanks Mark. I was taking pictures of birds and had to shoot this with my telephoto lens and this was the only picture that came out close to being in focus. Now I wish I'd gotten better pics.
Wow!! How did I miss this one. Truly fascinating.
Lauren, the water was very shallow and I can't say for sure its touching the surface, but that it might have been.
Really Tom? The tail end was touching the surface? Can't tell from the picture. That would explain a lot! And it definitely should be studied! Maybe your should share this with a Lepidopterist that might like to go to Guyana and have a look….
Good luck Sergio, I hope you find one!
A aquatic caterpillar? I LOVED IT !!! I have to find one !!!
Lauren that's interesting about the aquatic caterpillars from Hawaii. You might be right with the trapped air by the spiracles. Another thing that could be happening is its tail end is elevated and may be at the surface of the water. I wonder if it has a breathing tube like a waterscorpion (Nepidae).
Have you seen this 2010 finding for amphibious moth larvae in Hawaii? They can spend weeks or months under water and seem to absorb oxygen through the skin (and form silk cases and tethers). Yours looks much bigger and more like an Arctiid larva. Maybe it just stays under a few hours (or less?) by holding trapped air close to the spiracles. With all its pseudopods, it probably can hold on and walk about without ballast. It sure does need more study.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphibious_...http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/23/...
Doreen, there were 2 caterpillars in this pool of water and they were calmly walking around the bottom, looking like that was their natural environment. I observed them for 10 minutes and they could have easily crawled out of the water, but didn't.
Swim or drowing?
Kaern, this aquatic caterpillar was something I've never seen before, and hope someone could shed a little more light on.
I learned something today. Thanks!
Thanks Gilma, this looks like a tough one to ID, but folks here at PN have been amazing.
Just went into "My favorites" sorry you wonderful spotting does not have an ID yet... It so interesting. I am looking forward for a possible future ID from a PN member. Hope it happens in the near future.. : (
There wasn't any real interaction between the caterpillar and the tadpoles, except for the caterpillar inadvertently almost bumping into them.
Lots of questions, but we are all so curious..Do the tadpoles try to attack it, I mean eat it?
Good question. The water wasn't very deep, and it probably doesn't have the ability to float.
What do they use for ballast to stay on the bottom or even get to the bottom?
Maybe the caterpillar thinks it is a tadpole. Very cool!
There were actually 2 of these caterpillars in the pool of water and they seemed to be walking around under the water going about their business.
Does it actually "swim" by wiggling or does it kind of walk on the bottom?
That is really neat! It must be able to hold air among all the hairs close to it's spiracles so it can stay under for a while.
Incredible. Who'd a thunk! Learn something new everyday. Are you sure it didn't fall in?
Wow! Now there's an interesting mix! Amazing!
Spotted on Mar 17, 2012 Submitted on Jan 29, 2013
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