Caterpillar Hyalophora cecropia, in warning colour

Caterpillar Hyalophora cecropia, in warning colour

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Caption: Caterpillar mimicry. A caterpillar of the saturniid moth Hyalophora cecropia. This North American caterpillar has brightly coloured pro- truberances bearing black spikes on its body. The role served by these structures is not known. They may be a mimicry device to make the caterpillar resemble a poisonous animal or a toxic plant. This caterpillar itself is not toxic and is very tasty to birds. The red and yellow protruberances may be warning colours making the caterpillar conspicuous to predators. Predators may then associate it with another animal or plant which has a sting, or distasteful flesh, and be warned off.

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Keywords: animal, aposematic colours, caterpill, caterpilla, caterpillar, colour, defence, hyalophora, hyalophora cecropia, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, type, warning, warning colour, warning colours, wildlife, zoology

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