In case you’ve missed any of our earlier episodes, you can catch up here. Our Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillars are well on their way to becoming butterflies.
Today I’d like to point out the emergence of their “eyes.”
This is the oldest of the three, and his “eyes” are the most developed.
The reason I’m putting “eyes” in quotes is because they are fake. They’re not real eyes. This is another defense mechanism. The “eyes” make them look somewhat like snakes and this deters predators such as birds.
This is the middle guy. His eyes are less well-developed. Incidentally in this picture he’s showing his tongue! It’s really an extension of his mouth which protrudes as he maneuvers around. With no real eyes, they need to navigate via what they taste and smell!
This is the baby. His eyes are even less well-developed than the others. But they’re on their way!
Here’s an updated collage!
We’ll be back with another update in a few days. Thanks for following along!
Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of White Pine Photo. I wouldn’t have a blog if not for my fantastic photographer! Connect with White Pine Photo: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter