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Ant Mimic Caterpillar

Caterpillar of an HOMODES BRACTEIGUTTA moth

Description:

I am excited to show you this amazing spotting I came across. Living in the same shrub as a colony of biting weaver red ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) is this spectacular weaver ant mimic caterpillar. It has the same colour as the red ants but is about twice the length of an adult weaver ant ~ 1.5cm. Its abdominal and thoracic prolegs are short. Its tentacles and setae are mobile and elongated, looking like the antennae and spindly legs of the weaver ant. ?new species? (Third picture uploaded is a pic of a weaver ant on the next leaf)

Habitat:

Tertiary jungle. Malaysia

Notes:

EXCITED!!!

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14 Comments

ason2526
ason2526 2 years ago

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_f...

I found one but not sure it same species? Can look picture and VIDEO on my facebook. Located Ko Kut Thailand. Thank you.

FakawiTribe
FakawiTribe 5 years ago

Thanks @DanielePralong & @leuba Ridgway!
I'm still on cloud nine with this spotting!
:P

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 5 years ago

What a fantastic find. Over here we have the species only in Queensland.

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 5 years ago

Thanks for your reply and for the reference! I'm as asking as we would like to feature this awesome spotting and I want to make sure we get this right. Many images available online for these caterpillars are only identified to genus level. See here for instance:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/homod...
In the reference you provided the authors actually had to rear the caterpillar to adult stage to confirm the exact species.

FakawiTribe
FakawiTribe 5 years ago

Hi @DanielePralong, this one is documented in this paper here http://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/nis/bulletin201...

..Should be quite accurate. :)

DanielePralong
DanielePralong 5 years ago

Fantastic find FakawiTribe! Are you sure of the exact species or could it be a different species in the same genus?

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 5 years ago

Awesome!

FakawiTribe
FakawiTribe 5 years ago

Cheers, @Michael Strydom!

Michael Strydom
Michael Strydom 5 years ago

Wow!!! that is awesome. I had no idea caterpillars could ant mimic.....really cool!! Great Find!!

FakawiTribe
FakawiTribe 5 years ago

Thanks, @Jason Alexander!

Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander 5 years ago

This is cool!

FakawiTribe
FakawiTribe 5 years ago

Isn't she, Sukanya? Biomimicry at its best! The head and tail end both resemble an ant head. Safe from an ant confrontation from front and back!

SukanyaDatta
SukanyaDatta 5 years ago

FawakiTribe...thank you for posting this interesting species...I learnt something new today. Isn't nature marvellous!

FakawiTribe
FakawiTribe 5 years ago

WOOP! Found the name for this beauty!
Caterpillar of an Homodes sp. moth
it's an ant mimic caterpillar

FakawiTribe
Spotted by
FakawiTribe

Pahang, Malaysia

Spotted on Dec 31, 2016
Submitted on Dec 31, 2016

Reference

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