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certainly one of the more bizarre insects I saw in the amazon. looks like a caterpillar to me. the first photo is a crop showing a man like face. best to full screen the last 3 pics to see the full insect.




I spotted this in Tupana Aru reserve.

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44 Comments (1–25)

Namizimu 5 years ago

Ooops, sorry Mark, this is Dan. I didn't realize I was signed in under Namizimu. It's okay though, they are new friends I've just gotten to sign into Noah.

Namizimu 5 years ago

Not sure what it is yunseong. Mark, I'd say it was about 8 - 10cm in length.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Guess on the size Dan?

yunseong1 5 years ago

What is that??

dandoucette 7 years ago

I think you mean Wow, thanks Mayra!

MayraSpringmann 7 years ago


dandoucette 7 years ago

Thanks for the input martin. I guess that narrows it down a bit, but I'm still confused as to what it is.

MartinL 7 years ago

Hey Dan. This is spectacular! Here are my thoughts. This insect is clearly molting. The tough exoskeleton is not typical of an holometabolous species. The well developed legs is not typical of a caterpillar (lepidoptera) or grub (coleoptera) which is going to pupate. One exception is the predatory ladybird beetle

Considering hemimetabolous species such as orthopteran or phasmids, I would expect to see antennae and eyes (which may be tucked underneath). The spiny exoskeleton supports this and I would expect an apterous species since wing buds are absent and the body is spiny. I am not sure how to interpret the cerci.

My guess is a nymph and not a larva.

dandoucette 7 years ago

Thanks Sergio and Larry. I still think it's a caterpillar.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 7 years ago

Great spotting, Dan!

LarryGraziano 7 years ago

Probably a dragonfly or damselfly...just throwing it out there.

dandoucette 7 years ago

Alright, Chun is in agreement too! Thanks Caleb and Adarsha.

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 7 years ago

Fabulous Dan!

Caleb Steindel
Caleb Steindel 7 years ago

whoa... amazing shots dan!

ChunXingWong 7 years ago

I agree with injica that this looks like something emerging out from it's exoskeleton.

dandoucette 7 years ago

Thank you everyone for the amazing comments and suggestions. injica - that's what I was thinking too. It's in some kind of transition. I think this was too big to be a tortoise beetle larva, as it was about 2.5" long. I should have mentioned that.

ForestDragon 7 years ago

What a bizarre and amazing creature! I hope we can figure out the identity.

Josh Asel
Josh Asel 7 years ago

Dang that's sweet.

Andreas Kay
Andreas Kay 7 years ago

Tortoise beetle larva, Cassidinae?

LarryGraziano 7 years ago

bizarre indeed!

LeanneGardner 7 years ago

Wow Dan, really just WOW!!!

injica 7 years ago

maybe everyone noticed that looking it again it looks to me also like it is getting rid of its old skin or something/pupa/larva/whatever, anybody having same allusions?

dandoucette 7 years ago

Wow, it's almost overwhelming with all these comments. I appreciate it, thanks everyone. As for photos, these are the only ones I have. Lauren I found it on a leaf about waist high in the rainforest. It wasn't doing anything really, not moving much, just there, but I didn't spend much time with it. I didn't see an antennae or any legs for that matter. I think they are underneath this somewhere, out of sight. I normally don't go touching or moving strange insects like this. I wish I had more answers or photos to help.

wonderful... amazing nature.

injica 7 years ago

yes, the picture of its head would help a lot....

Spotted by

Loreto, Peru

Spotted on Dec 8, 2012
Submitted on Jul 28, 2013

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