Frangipani Hawkmoth, Pseudosphinx tetrio

Photo by Aimee Thomas, Gasparee, Trinidad, November 2011.

Photo by Shannon Fortenberry, Gasparee, Trinidad, November 2011.

Photo by Shannon Fortenberry, Gasparee, Trinidad, November 2011.

This is the caterpillar of the non-distinct Frangipani Sphinx Moth.  It specializes on feeding on the frangipani plant (Plumeria rubra).  It is a wide-spread species in the Neotropics.

As in many brightly colored animals, it has many toxic qualities.  Jan Meerman, Green Hills Butterfly Ranch and Botanical Collections near Georgeville, Belize, has observed Squirrel Cuckoos eating these caterpillars.  They slam them against a limb until the poisonous guts fly out, then they eat the remains.

Where ever there is a toxic animal, there is a predator that has figured out how to eat them!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s