"You look like sh*t"

July 21, 2017  •  1 Comment

When someone says "You look like sh*t", maybe it's a complement. At least that's what some critters think.

What better way to hide from predator and prey. No one is going to eat you if they think you're a turd!  These mimics typically rest on a leaf during the day. This mimicry is found in various orders of insects and spiders.

I have to admit that I find myself poking at bird poop these days. Sometimes it is exactly what it looks like, but other times it is something far more interesting. Here are a few from my photo collection.

This Bolas spider (Mastophora cornigera) is one of my favorite poop mimics. Not only is it cool looking, but it captures prey (moths) by swinging a line with a sticky ball at the end scented like a female moth.

Another poop mimic is the olive-shaded bird-dropping moth (Ponometia candefacta). This is only one of a whole subfamily of bird-dropping moths.

Several swallowtail butterflies choose this mimicry for their caterpillars.

This is an anise swallowtail (Papillo zelicaon) larva.

Anise swallowtail - Papillo zelicaonAnise swallowtail - Papillo zelicaonFamily Papilionidae - Swallowtails This caterpillar of Western giant swallowtail (Papilio rumiko) not only looks like bird poop, but also is said to look like the head of a snake from head on.

Western giant swallowtail - Papilio rumikoWestern giant swallowtail - Papilio rumikoWestern giant swallowtail - Papilio rumiko A Long Beach backyard 10/15/2015 Western giant swallowtail - Papilio rumikoWestern giant swallowtail - Papilio rumikoWestern giant swallowtail - Papilio rumiko A Long Beach backyard 10/15/2015

 

Beetle larva, particularly that of leaf beetles, can also have this effect. Here is an example of the Three-lined Potato Beetle (Lema daturaphila).

Three-lined lema beetle - Lema sp. (parasitized larva)Three-lined lema beetle - Lema sp. (parasitized larva)Three-lined lema beetle - Lema sp. (parasitized larva) El Dorado Park, Area III, 08/30/2016

So the next time you see bird droppings, look again and you might just be lucky enough to find something really cool.

You're welcome.

 

 

 


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Steve(non-registered)
Must be why nobody messes with me...
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