Aw, poop

Acronicta funeralis – 3rd instar.

I’ve got a bunch of these caterpillars, raised from eggs. They are all thriving, and looking like adorable little lumps of bird poop at this point. As you can imagine, this is a great strategy for not getting eaten. Who wants to bother with a lump of unappetizing bird poop? It even has a lump of white “uric acid” as the last few abdominal segments.

They are going to undergo an amazing transformation soon into a completely different set of colors/patterns, I’m pretty excited! After a while they get bored with the bird poop mimic strategy, and take on another form. Stay tuned, it should happen within a week or two.

Posted on August 1, 2011, in Acronicta, Acronictinae, Invertebrates, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I found one of these! Thank you for sharing this, I kept finding results for the swallowtail, and while that looks like brown birdpoo, this is what I found.

  2. This is my favorite Lep. I would love to get some eggs to start a colony.

  3. I would still love to get some eggs of Acronicta funeralis to start a colony. Retired in 2010, but I still would really like to do one more experiment with this wonderful species. Thanks. I’m at

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Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.

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