Friday, 4 March 2011

Macro Photographs of a Common Mime Caterpillar

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A recent visit back to Karimannoor gave me a quick opportunity to get some images of this Common Mime (Papilio clytia)caterpillar.  
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The larva is among the most handsome of the Papilio species. The body has a black base colour, with a lot of black spots, inconspicuously blended in. There are two fleshy protuberances on segments 1-4 (above- front view), while the other segments have only one each (below-back view).
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At the base of the protuberance are a row of crimson spots and the body also has creamy yellow patches.
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It is only in the 5th and last moult (Instar) that the caterpillar begins to appear so colourful. It is quite dull prior to this.
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The larvae goes on to make itself a cocoon which is a remarkable form of mimicry. It exactly resembles a dead twig. unfortunately I don't have images of that now, but I hope I will in a future post.

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