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Photo Information
Copyright: Radomir Jaskula (cicindela) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1223 W: 0 N: 3103] (9226)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-03-23
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 5400, 35-105 mm 1:4,5-5,6, @ ISO 50
Exposure: f/6.6
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Caterpillars, Insects around the world, European caterpilars, Insects' World, Butterflies of Europe, Insect larvae, Insects (Insecta) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-03-26 9:24
Viewed: 5396
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello my Friends! The new season really started so today I have a great pleasure to show you another photo taken this spring :>

Here is a catepilar of a Goat moth - Cossus cossus (Lepidoptera: Cossidae). Specimen from the photo has about 8cm (about 12 mm in diameter!). The adult of this species can be seen here.

Is Cossus cossus a "normal moth"?

Usually caterpillars of butterflies and moths are known as eating only "green" part of plants, particulary leafes. And Cossus cossus has a very unusual caterpilar. Why? Well, it is a vegetarian too, but it prefers another type of food. Most of their larval lifes caterpillars spent in decaying logs or trunks - and really wood this is their delicacy :>
It prefers mainly Betula trees as a food. Larvae can be found in such "habitats" during all year but the best way is to look for them in autumn-spring period. In this time they prepare special "apartments" to pupate in them.

Well, larva of C. cossus is not a very typical one, but are there any other "strange" caterpillars in the butterflies' world?

As always in the insect world the answer is: YES! :>

Even if most caterpillars are recorded as vegetarians, we all know some species of Lycaenidae butterflies in which larvae are carnivorous and eat pre-adult stages of ants.

But even lycaenids are not so unusual like Hawaiian species of Eupithecia genus (Geometridae)! These caterpillars are active hunters, and even if they are not very large (about 15 mm) they are still very danger for some insect species, especially small Drosophilidae flies. Their six legs are modified just to catch the prey. Interesting is that all known Hawaiian species from this genus are specialists in hunting for small flies, while all Palaearctic species are vegetarians.

Morover, there is one additional Hawaiian species Hyposmocoma molluscivora (Cosmopterigidae) which has caterpillar known as huntning for... snails!!! This amazing behaviour was detailed described only two years ago! :>

There are about 150 000 species of Lepidoptera described till know by scientists, in many cases we do not know anything more than "how the species - imago -looks like". We just starting to learn about their biology and behaviour, so who knows, maybe soon new amazing details about catepillars will be discovered... :>

This picture was taken in special nature area "Swiete Lugi" in Marcelow village, about 10 km SW from Zelow.

Jamesp, JoseMiguel, jcoowanitwong, greenpinkorange, SkyF, cedryk, sunkirana, GLEM, Aramok, peter_stoeckl, saguzar, Shoot_Score, TAZ, vanderschelden, mesquens, avallaunius, sranjan has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To claudine: I enjoyed the fact that you showed us the compShoot_Score 2 04-13 16:52
To Shoot_Score: WScicindela 2 04-13 16:40
To claudine: WScicindela 2 04-11 06:31
To claudine: WS?Shoot_Score 1 04-10 23:43
To peter_stoeckl: hunting for caterpillar :)cicindela 1 03-31 13:07
To Alex_Strugariu: an alien ot just a caterpillar ;)cicindela 1 03-26 18:12
To cedryk: apetycznie ;>cicindela 1 03-26 12:07
To Argus: colours of caterpillarcicindela 1 03-26 12:01
To JoseMiguel: many thankscicindela 1 03-26 10:50
To Jamesp: details :)cicindela 1 03-26 09:59
To trinko: Thank you! :)cicindela 1 03-26 09:57
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Critiques [Translate]

great closeup, good focus nice colors and good use of DOF

Hi Radomir

I must admit that my first impulse was yuk, but then I could appreciate how well you have captured the colours and textures of this caterpiller.

Hi Radomir,
Well composed. Colourful caterpillar.

Hi Radomir,
Excellent macro of this caterpillar!
I like so much their particular magenta colour over.
You got a very sharp and clear image, with plenty of good details.
I like the color saturation and the way you composed this picture.
Congratulations and thanks for share.
My best regards,

Hi Radomir,
Beautiful image of this caterpillar. The pink color is unusual to me. Thanks to your informative note. In nature, there is no limit to possibility.

Oh my.. how slimy..!
good closeup and sharpness.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-03-26 11:19]
  • [+]

Hello Radomir,
Fine sharp capture of a Goatmoth larva, the flash lighting it up effectively and allowing a good DOF and showing up details like spiracles and hairs.
The reddish tinge is amazing and one wonders how the colour originated. I wonder if salix woods provide it?. The specimen I found had chestnut colouring on its back.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-03-26 11:24]

Hello Radomir,
this closeup is excellent, full of details and great colors. Very well composed with an real nice DOF.

No bardzo ladna, rozowa i apetyczna. Ladne widacz szczecinki.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-03-26 13:06]

Hi Radomir,
Excellent macro of this caterpillar. Superb colours and sharp details. Great POV and DOF too. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-03-26 14:28]

Hi Radomir,
très belle image, miam une bonne grosse larve à déguster :)
Excellente netteté, couleur. La texture est magnifiquement restituée.


Straight out of Alien, right ? :)

Great details, colors and composition, very creepy but beautiful!




What an amazing caterpillar and so ugly! You have shown it really well. The details in teh picture are stunning and the sharpness is excellent. DOF is good (I woudl have prefered a touch greater DOF, but that is just my opinion), POV and composition are also boht excellent.


  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-03-29 16:13]

Hi Radomir,
Not a beauty in the standard way, but an excellent photo and note.
TFS, José m.

Hello Radomir,
fascinating image, very very clear and precise, and well illuminated. And unexpectedly rich pink colours. Great notes, too.
I met that large moth several times, but I never had a chance to see a caterpillar of Cossus cossus. I remember having read about trunks of trees that would smell of vinegar when containing Cossus larvae. How did you meet that caterpillar, did it leave the wood for pupation, or was it by cutting a tree?
Thank you for this interesting and well informing contribution. With best regards,

Hello Radomir,
This is a very good post with excellent biological explanations and I enjoyed the fact that you showed us the completed process using WS. Both pictures are well realized
;-) Thanks!

Hi Radomir,
Very interesting image, I´ve never seen a pink caterpillar. Good macro accompanied by a vvery useful note

Dobri Radomir,

This is an amazing capture! And very interesting Notes!
Soon I hope to post a friend/collegue of this bug!
Like this creature it would appear to have strong mandibles.
Can you guess what it may be? Tfs, Jay

PS Gotta love that pink

PS2 What happened to the WS that Claudine mentioned?

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2007-04-20 13:11]

Hello Radomir,
Very nice and strange caterpillar. Its colors are funny, pink it is female ? ;-) The sharpness and details are great.
Congratulations and TFS.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2007-10-25 14:46]

i never seen a caterpillar like that,perfect marco and nice colours and details,thanks for share,Luciano

Maybe the best of you,

Dear Radomir,
Excellent shot of this Goat moth with good sharpness, colors & informative notes. TFS.

Hi Radomir,

Beautiful picture and amazing pink colour. It reminds me of a nugget (nougate) bar, a sweet I used to eat as a child. Anyway, I like your write-up presentation, thanks for the information. I never did hear before of a snail hunting catapillar :)

See ya' Les (in London)

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