Header Ads

Peekaboo False Eyes of a Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Peekaboo False Eyes of a Hawkmoth Caterpillar
Hawkmoth (Sphingidae) larvae, or caterpillars, can grow to relatively large sizes. Some of them may sport two prominent spots above their heads which appear to mimic eyes. Some may be thought to be mimicking snakes with the eyes. Perhaps the reason could straight-forward, to look menacing. This post is about the green pergesa hawkmoth larva, which doesn't always show the false eyes.
    Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8132
  1. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    Looks like a normal looking caterpillar at rest, with a cute little tail or horn.

  2. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8133
  3. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    Dorsal view looks normal too. Are those two rings near the head.. the false eyes?

  4. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8124
  5. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    The head and actual eyes are actually way ahead in front, while attention is diverted to the false eyes.

  6. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8093
  7. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    Taking a closer look.

  8. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8119
  9. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    Maximum magnification on the false eye. Yep, simple patterned textures, not real eyes!

  10. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8129
  11. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    Did it just WAKE UP?? The false eyes appear to be "opening"...

  12. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8101_640
  13. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    Peekaboo! It's really happening... the eyes were really growing bigger each time I approached. Seems like the caterpillar expands the folds to reveal more of the false eyes to make it look like it has woken up!

  14. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8108
  15. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    Looks like it is wide awake now, fully expanding the false eyes.

  16. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8115
  17. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    However, it was also quick to calm down and the eyes were soon back to the "resting state".

  18. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8127
  19. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    Cool as a cucumber.

  20. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus) - DSC_8131
  21. Green pergesa hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)
    Left it alone and said goodbye after it decided to go to sleep again.

  22. Not all hawkmoth caterpillars have false eyes. Please share in the comments below if you have encountered similar false-eyed caterpillars!
The complete album for this trip can be viewed here.


Upcoming Book

Preview of Borneo Spiders: A Photographic Field Guide

Subscribe to Mailing List

Get notified via email once Borneo Spiders: A Photographic Guide is available! Your email will only be used within this site for new posts, workshops, book launches and will never be shared with others, even if they tempt me with a pretty spider.



Photo Licensing

For photo licensing requests, please contact me at [email protected].

Powered by Blogger.