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Caterpillars by chance

Caterpillars  by chance
Photo Information
Copyright: Foozi Saad (foozi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-05-14
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG macro
Exposure: f/20.0, 1/25 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-05-20 1:59
Viewed: 2827
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
That day was a frustrating day for my butterfly hunt. I went to a place near the river and quite shady. There were many butterflies but they never allow me me to photograph them. May be it was still morning and they were super active.
Then I sat down near a big tree. There I saw a caterpillar right in front of me, on a small tree.
Until I transferred into my computer, only then i realise that there were two of them, a small on the underside.

Caterpillars are the larval form of a member of the order Lepidoptera (the insect order comprising butterflies and moths). They are mostly herbivorous in food habit, with some species being insectivorous. Caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered pests in agriculture. Many moth species are better known in their caterpillar stages because of the damage they cause to fruits and other agricultural produce.

The etymological origins of the word are from the early 1500s, from Middle English catirpel, catirpeller, probably an alteration of Old North French catepelose: cate, cat (from Latin cattus) + pelose, hairy (from Latin pilōsus).

Most caterpillars have tubular, segmented bodies. They have three pairs of true legs on the three thoracic segments, up to four pairs of prolegs on the middle segments of the abdomen, and often a single pair of prolegs on the last abdominal segment. There are ten abdominal segments. The families of lepidoptera differ in the numbers and positioning of the prolegs. Some caterpillars are fuzzy (which means they have hair) and they are most likely to cause itching of the hands if touched

Caterpillars grow through a series of moults; each intermediate stage is called an instar. The last moult takes them into the inactive pupal or chrysalis stage.

Like all insects, caterpillars breathe through a series of small openings along the sides of their thorax and abdomen called spiracles. These branch into the body cavity into a network of tracheae. A few caterpillars of the family Pyralidae are aquatic and have gills that let them breathe underwater.[2]

Caterpillars have about 4,000 muscles (compare humans, with 629). They move through contraction of the muscles in the rear segments pushing the blood forward into the front segments elongating the torso. The average caterpillar has 248 muscles in the head segment alone.

Caterpillars do not have good vision. They have a series of six tiny eyelets or 'stemmata' on each side of the lower portion of their head. These can probably form well focused, but poorly resolved images.[3] They move their heads from side to side probably as a means of judging distance of objects, particularly plants. They rely on their short antennae to help them locate food.

Some caterpillars are able to detect vibrations, usually at a specific frequency. Caterpillars of the common hook-tip moth, Drepana arcuata (Drepanoidea) produce sounds to defend their silk nests from members of their own species, by scraping against the leaf in a ritualized acoustic duel. They detect the vibrations conducted by the plant and not airborne sounds. Similarly, cherry leaf rollers Caloptilia serotinella defend their rolls.Tent caterpillars can also detect vibrations at the frequency of wing beats of one of their natural enemies.

Many caterpillars are cryptically coloured and resemble the plants on which they feed and may even have parts that mimic plant parts such as thorns. Their size varies from as little as 1 mm to about 3 inches. Some look like objects in the environment such as bird droppings. Many feed enclosed inside silk galleries, rolled leaves or by mining between the leaf surfaces. Caterpillars of Nemoria arizonaria that grow in spring feed on oak catkins and appear green. The summer brood however appear like oak twigs. The differential development is linked to the tannin content in the diet.

More aggressive self-defense measures are taken by caterpillars. These caterpillars have spiny bristles or long fine hair-like setae with detachable tips that will irritate by lodging in the skin or mucous membranes. However, some birds, like cuckoos, will swallow even the hairiest of caterpillars. The most aggressive defenses are bristles associated with venom glands, called urticating hairs; a venom among the most potent defensive chemicals in any animals is produced by the South American silk moth genus Lonomia. It is an anticoagulant powerful enough to cause a human to hemorrhage to death (See Lonomiasis). This chemical is being investigated for potential medical applications. Most urticating hairs however range in effect from mild irritation to dermatitis.

Plants have evolved poisons to protect themselves from herbivores and some caterpillars have evolved countermeasures and eat the leaves of these toxic plants. In addition to being unaffected by the poison, they sequester it in their body, making them highly toxic to predators. These chemicals are also carried on into the adult stages. These toxic species, such as the Cinnabar moth (Tyria jacobaeae) and monarch (Danaus plexippus) caterpillars, usually advertise themselves with brightly striped or coloured in black, red and yellow—the danger colors (see aposematism). Any predator that attempts to eat a caterpillar with an aggressive defence mechanism will learn and avoid future attempts.
Giant swallowtail caterpillar everting its osmeterium in defense

Some caterpillars regurgitate acidic digestive juices at attacking enemies. Many papilionid larvae produce bad smells from extrudable glands called osmeteria.

Caterpillars can evade predators by using a silk line and dropping off from branches when disturbed.

Silvio2006, Pentaxfriend, mamcg, horias, pierrefonds, maurydv, CeltickRanger, Dis. Ac., Adanac, tcr, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Foozi, fantastic caterpillar with splendid colors, lovely diagonal composition with beautiful blurry BG, excellent sharpness and fine details, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Foozi,

Superb Caterpillar shot
Excellent DOF, POV, colors and sharpnes
lovely diagonal composition

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • mamcg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 333 W: 13 N: 91] (9843)
  • [2010-05-20 3:05]

Ya Foozi,

Assalamualia kum,
Here I see a caterpiller different then ours, it is rain forst as we are in mid deserted mountains and it is much green and fresh.
It is well captured, in action that is frozen perfect and the composition POV are beautiful beside the NOTE the bunch of information that helps the viewers to understand what they are looking at, TFS.


  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-05-20 3:35]

Great this lovely caterpillar!
A lovely green colors.

Hi Foozi,

The branch is framing well the caterpillar. The macro point of view is showing the details and colors of the caterpillar moving on the branch. It is clear and precise. The late morning light is enhancing the colors. Have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2010-05-20 6:06]

Good portrait of this caterpillar, good color green all round. tfs.

hallo Foozi,
a very good double capture of caterpillars, superb sharpness and fantastic colours, a very nice composition, well done.
Best regards

hello Foozi
very nice composition with good details and great sharpness
beautiful colours to
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • rommel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 446 W: 0 N: 287] (3628)
  • [2010-05-20 11:07]

Hellow Foozi,
Its sometimes surprising where a photo opportunity pops up.I have also experienced going for a specific animal or scene and capturing something completely different.This is a great close up with intricate details and vivid greens.Nice diagonal perspective and well composed.

Hoi Foozi,

a very good sherp macroshot with lots of details.
Fine green colour tones.


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-05-20 13:35]

Hello Foozi.
Beautiful bright coloured caterpillar on the green BG for good contrast and a very good picture. Interesting note as well, very well done.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-05-20 14:41]

Hi Foozi,butterflies wasn't very friendly in these days...ehhee...but you show us another fanatstic specie,this caterpillar is taken at the top of quality,great composition,sharpness and colors...very nice work,have a nice day,Luciano

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-05-20 17:59]

Hello Foozi,
Composition, exposure and focus are all spot on here Foozi resulting in an outstanding image. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • tcr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 8 N: 538] (3384)
  • [2010-05-20 18:34]

Well taken and well presented picture.
Successful point of view reaching both caterpillars. Well saturated colors, vivid contrast and nice diagonal compo.

Hi & Good Morning MF Foozi,

I like your use of selective focus here. The caterpillar and nearby ants are sharp, while there is a pleasing softness in other areas. I'm really impressed with the sharpness of the caterpillar at a 1/25 shutter.
TFS and have a nice day MF!


Original y artística toma de esta rara oruga para mí. Interesante trabajo con el color del conjunto. Buen enfoque al motivo principal.

Un abrazo Foozi: Josep Ignasi.

Hello Foozi

If i would'nt read your notes i would never know
that they where another caterpillar, what a great
camouflage and excellent photo with the other
small insects also, great focus sharpness details,



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