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The Jewel Caterpillar (Minacraga argentata) of Ecuador

What looks like a tasty gummy sweet is actually a Translucent Jewel Caterpillar from the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. This species is probably Minacraga argentata and belongs to a family of moths known as Dalceridae whose larvae are also called slug caterpillars. They are not poisonous as many other caterpillars, but the yellow glutinous cones will just break off if a predator wants to grab them. Also, their stickiness may protect them from being eaten by hungry insects such as ants.

Watch this small (around half an inch long) jewel caterpillar make its way across a leaf in this beautifully filmed video by physicist, biologist, and photographer Andreas Kay.

jewel caterpillar in ecuador
Read more about these creatures at Wired: It’s Not a Jewel—It’s the World’s Most Stunning Caterpillar.

Then watch more videos from Kay: A tortoise beetle taking off in slow motion and Giant Millipede from the Amazon rainforest.

And this video of the venomous flannel moth caterpillar and Pulsing Slug Moth Caterpillars.

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