The snake caterpillar uses a clever disguise to ward off predators.
Photo by Daniel Janzen/Janzen.UPenn.edu/Caters News
A caterpillar in Costa Rica uses a unique disguise to ward off predators and the costume is quite striking, as is its response should it be approached.
The caterpillar cleverly camouflages itself as a slithering snake and comes with a head that looks like a snake. The snake caterpillar, in its larval state before becoming a moth, will also strike harmlessly if approached, just as a snake would, with the exception of a potential bite.
The bug creates the illusion of looking like a dangerous reptile by expanding parts at the end of its body.
Daniel Janzen, a professor of biology at the University of Pennsylvania, took the photos you see here while cataloguing caterpillars in the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Costa Rica.