Sunday, October 9, 2011

And the Prize for Best Camouflage Goes to...

Can you find the caterpillar in this picture?

How about in this one?

Really, this is some of the best camouflage I've seen. (If you can't find the caterpillar in the first picture, it's just below and to the right of center, and it's pretty small.) This master of disguise is a Hibiscus Leaf Caterpillar (Anomis privata, a species of moth), which we found on one of the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) trees in our yard yesterday -- how appropriate, since Rose of Sharon is, well, a species of hibiscus. I know that Rose of Sharon isn't native to North America (it's from Asia), but I haven't been able to find out whether the caterpillar is an introduced species as well.... It matches the bark of this plant so well, however, that I wonder if it didn't come along for the ride.

Camouflage is great, of course, but not all creatures in the yard want to stay hidden. This large orb weaver spider (possibly even the same individual who recently maintained a web on our porch for several days) was boldly situated in the middle of her vast web, which stretches from the caterpillar's tree to another shrub, several feet wide and well above our heads:

And she's munching on a wasp, no less. Big spiders, it seems, don't have much to fear. (Except for equally bold birds, that is.)


  1. Elizabeth, just found your blog. Firstly, I want to apologize on behalf of all your followers for being a bunch of slackers. You put out a swell post with good pictures, and info. (I didn't know Rose of Sharon is a Hibiscus) and not one comment. Good job E!

  2. Hi, Jeff. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the comment! I don't exactly have a huge following, so I'm not too sad if I don't get comments -- but your concern is appreciated. :D