Thursday, 21 October 2010

Facebook Caterpillar

Meet the urber-cool caterpillar of the Fruit-piercing Moth Eudocima homaena (Hubner, 1823) that I photographed at the Sinharaja rain forest, early this month. The winged adults of this moth pierces fruits, most notably of Citrus types, to feed on their juicy rewards; and are regarded as agricultural pests because of that.

It's feeding on a tender egde of the rain forest woody climber Coscinium fenestratum [Familly: Menispermaceae; Sinhala: Weniwel (වෙනිවැල්)—from which the herbal ingredient with anti-tetanus properties Weniwel-gaeta (වෙනිවැල්-ගැට) is extracted from].

Its head is on top, and the "Scottish Terrier head" seen at the botton is its posterior end, complete with an "eye" and a "mouth," which is open. And it appears to be sporting a cute little red tuque. Two of the big white "eye-spots" have letter "f" embedded in them as in Facebook, which I am not part of. Not yet.

Anyway the two Facebook signs look appropriate, for it appears to have two faces! For you scientifically attuned, its classfication is as follows:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Ditrysia
Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Noctuidae
Subfamily: Calpinae
Genus: Eudocima
Species: E. homaena

On other news, the regular migrant Indian Pitta is back in my garden, and it was seen close to dusk on 19 October, 2010. It was silent, and looked as if it had just arrived. Careful not to stress it, I didn't go after it to photograph; I will do it later, leaving it some time to settle down.


Monique et Daniel said...

Superbe rencontre d'une chenille très photogénique!
Très belle photo!

Chavie said...

Superb macro Amila! The detail is fascinating. This is surely a sign that you should join FB. ;)

Good to hear that the Pitta moved in. Right on schedule eh? :D

rainfield61 said...

It is a cool capture with so much details.

It never looks real under macro view.

Stu said...

Wow what a weird looking creature..........

Anonymous said...

Man things you find! At first glance I thought it's rear was the head, until you explained otherwise. Thanks and it does resemble like Mark Zuckerberg! with two faces.

Gallicissa said...

@Monique et Daniel,
Merci beaucop!

Man, I want to reduce computer time and spend more time in the field. I don't see how FB is going to help me with that.

Last year it was found on 27 Oct, 2010. It probably would have arrived earlier and eluded me until that day. This year I have been minitoring its arival more closely.

Thank you.


Gracias! Yeah, that false head is so like a real head.

Haha to what you wrote about Mark Zuckerberg. But that Guy's great.

Kirigalpoththa said...

What an incredible find! Great publicity for FB during this trouble times.

Gallicissa said...

I'll believe you on that last observation.

Dominic Sansoni said...

THAT is just wonderful! Never ever seen anything like it - thank you!

flowergirl said...

Where do you find these amazing creatures...this one looks like its something Walt Disney would imagine! And that terrier Snoopy the beagle?!

Ad yes, the pitts has been seen and heard here too...just last week!

Gallicissa said...

Thank you!
It's great to be surrounded by such biological curiousities.

Thanks! Haha, to Snoopy the beagle!

I am sure you'll be happy to know that Eudocima homaena is also found in India.

Good news that you have got your Pittas; its time of arrival sounds right!

Yesterday I saw my second Pitta for this migratory season at the Sinharaja rain forest.

June said...

Very interesting caterpillar.
Wanival gata is Coscinium fenestratum. :-)

Gallicissa said...

I have corrected the name, thank you!

Dee said...


Phil said...

Just untrue but fantastic!

Gallicissa said...

@Dee and Phil,
Thank you!

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