“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”
The old vaudeville song goes: “Where did you get that hat, where did you get that tile? Isn’t it a funny one or just the proper style?”
One very unusual caterpillar seems to wear not just one, but a whole set of hats on its head. This so-called Mad Hatterpillar – the larva of the moth Uraba lugens – has to shed its exoskeleton as it grows bigger. However, it unusually retains its old head when it sheds an exoskeleton and appears to wear it as a hat. This strange behavior is repeated at each shedding so that, prior to cocooning itself into a pupa, the hairy caterpillar has a number of old heads on top of its living head as a stack of bizarre hats. The caterpillar molts 13 times on average but only retains heads after the fourth molting, so the final head or hat count can be as much as nine! The bizarre headwear appears to be a method whereby the caterpillar deters predators.
The caterpillar, which is a resident of Australia and New Zealand, is also known as the gum-leaf skeletonizer. This is because of its voracious appetite for the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which it strips down to its veins – an attribute not designed to endear the caterpillar to lovers of koalas, for whom the gum-leaves are the principle source of food. However, the strange caterpillar is yet more evidence of the incredible design attributed to our Creator God.
Prayer: Thank You for the fascinating creatures that You have created, Lord. Thank You that every feature of them was carefully designed by You. Amen.
Author: Paul F. Taylor
Ref: Li, G. (2020), Weird caterpillar uses its old heads to make an elaborate hat, < https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24632881-200-weird-caterpillar-uses-its-old-heads-to-make-an-elaborate-hat/ >, accessed 7/1/2020. Image: CC BY-SA 4.0 International.
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