🦋 Celebrate Moth Week 2021 July 17-25 🦋

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Osmeterium! Osma means smell in latin and Osmeterium is defensive orgain with pungent smell in Papilionidae that is Swallowtail butterflies. When I was trying my best to get a shot of this beauty, a wasp appeared from nowhere and hovered close to the caterpillar. That it when this cute looking larva revealed its vibrant crimson red weapon. I was amazed looking at that through viewfinder and now I obviously wanted to make an attempt to capture that. Caterpillars or any animals when threatened try to hide themselves in a spot ASAP and that is what even this caterpillar did after showing the tentacular structure twice. It was approaching internal; main branch side of the plant and before disappearing into it completely wasp made another attempt giving me this not so bad record. So here is a collage, where you can see a retracted Osmeterium bove and then how it looks when exerted out for defense display. The bifurcated look of the Osmeterium coupled with eye spots on caterpillar are also to make them appear like a snake to fool their predators. Abhijeet Jagtap,Abhijeet Ramesh Jagtap,Butterflies of India,Caterpillar,Common Mormon,Common Mormon Butterfly,Dhanmill Naka,Geotagged,Incredible India,IncredibleIndia,India,Indian Butterflies,Maharashtra,Mumbai,Papilio polytes,Prabhadevi Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Osmeterium!

Osma means smell in latin and Osmeterium is defensive orgain with pungent smell in Papilionidae that is Swallowtail butterflies. When I was trying my best to get a shot of this beauty, a wasp appeared from nowhere and hovered close to the caterpillar. That it when this cute looking larva revealed its vibrant crimson red weapon. I was amazed looking at that through viewfinder and now I obviously wanted to make an attempt to capture that. Caterpillars or any animals when threatened try to hide themselves in a spot ASAP and that is what even this caterpillar did after showing the tentacular structure twice. It was approaching internal; main branch side of the plant and before disappearing into it completely wasp made another attempt giving me this not so bad record. So here is a collage, where you can see a retracted Osmeterium bove and then how it looks when exerted out for defense display. The bifurcated look of the Osmeterium coupled with eye spots on caterpillar are also to make them appear like a snake to fool their predators.

    comments (4)

  1. A very special moment! I am sorry for the wasp but I am happy the caterpillar could defend herself because is horrible when they get parasitic wasp eggs in their bodies. Excellent catch and thanks for sharing! Posted 9 months ago
  2. Excellent job, capturing beauty as well as behavior. Posted 9 months ago
  3. Great shot too. Posted 9 months ago
  4. so cute.. nice job Posted 9 months ago

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The Common Mormon is a common species of swallowtail butterfly widely distributed across Asia. This butterfly is known for the mimicry displayed by the numerous forms of its females which mimic inedible Red-bodied Swallowtails, such as the Common Rose and the Crimson Rose.

Similar species: Moths And Butterflies
Species identified by abhitap
View abhitap's profile

By abhitap

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Uploaded Oct 6, 2020. Captured in DHANMILL NAKA, New Prabhadevi Rd, Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400025, India.