Saturday, October 16, 2021

    The Insides of a Translucent Caterpillar Are Unbelievably Visible


    The Brazilian Skipper Butterfly caterpillar possesses translucent skin that allows for an unnervingly vivid glimpse of its internal organs, particularly the circulatory system.

    Brazilian skipper butterflies are larger than most skipper butterflies, but it is their look during the caterpillar stage that distinguishes them as a species. What truly distinguishes this tiny critter is its translucent skin, which allows for a good glimpse inside the caterpillar, displaying the organs and, in particular, the circulatory system. The Brazilian skipper caterpillar has a very unusual appearance due to its see-through skin, especially when you understand that the quivering dark line that runs down its back from its head to the rear of the abdomen is the heart.

    The Brazilian skipper feeds on the leaves of Canna Lilies and can be found in the United States from southern Florida to southern Texas, as well as the West Indies, Central America, and all the way down to Argentina in South America.

    The caterpillar begins greenish-gray, but darkens as it consumes fresh, undigested leaves. They can eat enough of a leaf to fold it while remaining protected inside the fap of the leaf. The caterpillar emerges from its shelter at night to feed on the topmost leaf.

    Although not as bizarre as this skull-shaped caterpillar of the pink underwing moth or as skilled at hiding as the Common Baron caterpillar, the Brazillian caterpillar is one of the most fascinating insects we’ve ever covered on OC.

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