Are you impressed with my picture of this small branch off an ash tree?

IMG_1364 red

It even includes a caterpillar.


This is the other end of the stick with another caterpillar on it.


The head end of the caterpillar resembles a bent stick.


The caterpillar shows better here with its hairs raised from the broken twig.

It’s a caterpillar of a dot-lined white moth (Artace cribraria) which grows to two inches long. They feed mostly at night and rest on the bark during the day. Their host plants include cherry and oak trees, roses and other woody plants. They overwinter in the egg.


Years ago my Mother and I were having a picnic at Bell Smith Springs in the Shawnee National Forest (in southern Illinois). The caterpillar dot-lined white moth above joined us at the picnic table. It didn’t blend in with the table as well as it thought it did.

black eyes

It didn’t like her attention and “eyes” opened on the back of its thorax in an attempt to scare us.

snake left

Then to get its point across, it raised into a cobra position and swayed back and forth from one side to the other.

snake right 3

It refused to be intimidated!

snake upright

Its fake head resembled that of a cobra’s head.

snake head

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Marie Johnson on July 31, 2015 at 6:44 am

    What a great post! The detail is amazing. I will be looking for camouflaged caterpillars on every branch. Glad you captured it. Your dancing cobra caterpillar is perfect. I’ve seen caterpillars waving around but this one takes the cake! Thank you for your post. MMJ of Michigan


  2. At first I thought you made a mistake and accidentally posted a picture of a twig. Amazing!


  3. I’ve never seen that one. Or maybe I have and just didn’t know it. Very interesting!


  4. Amazingly good mimicry! Nice photos.


  5. Posted by Missy on August 4, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you! This was amazing!


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