Green and orange and purple
Here are some more fun photos of Acronicta lepetita from Texas. Some of them turn orange during their final instar, some stay green, some even turn purple-ish. Luckily this species is quite sedentary, so it is relatively easy to photograph. This first shot is one of my favorites:
Many caterpillars are known to turn purple-ish, red-ish, or pink-ish just before pupation. However this orange color change happens while the caterpillar is still feeding, sometimes up to a week before pupation. It happens in Acronicta vinnula as well. I wonder why a caterpillar would want to be orange while still feeding on green vegetation?
Posted on July 2, 2013, in Acronicta, Acronictinae, Invertebrates, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae, Texas trip 2013 and tagged Acronicta caterpillars, Acronicta lepetita, Acronicta vinnula, caterpillar photography, green and orange. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.