Sunday Night Movie: Hawaii’s Carnivorous Caterpillars

6 thoughts on “Sunday Night Movie: Hawaii’s Carnivorous Caterpillars”

  1. Great – now I’m going to have nightmares for days, those things look like they’re the face huggers from Alien!

    But seriously, nice video 😀

  2. Pretty cool! The genus, Eupithecia, is widespread, with some species even hanging out on composite flowers in Alberta. I wonder if they don’t take a bite out of some of the smaller insects hanging around in flowers: ‘opportunistic’ predation on arthropods by everything from thrips, to mirids, to moose is well documented. Still, the behaviours on display here are something qualitatively different from the average caterpillar. Then there is Hyposmocoma molluscivora too, a snail ensnaring cosmopterigid on Maui. Hard to beat an arthropod when it comes to evolutionary innovation.

  3. finding out when these carnivorous caterpillars are actually active on the Big Island exceeds the bounds of my internet-hunting skills. anybody out there who studies these? I’d love to stalk and see them in the wild!

    1. If I were you, I’d look up the Entomology department of any Hawaiian University and shoot them an email to ask. All professors love answering questions from the sincerely interested.

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