If you're very quick or being particularly observant, you might see a little creature who has taken up residence. Like the tiny crab spider who waits patiently for dinner. Or, perhaps you'll notice a flower that looks quite disheveled
and when looking closer you discover a well camouflaged caterpillar.
The macro shot shows so much clearer the clever disguise that this caterpillar of the Emerald Wavy Lined moth (Synchlora aerata) uses for protective coloration. Caterpillars are especially at risk because they can't fly away when danger approaches. Camouflage is an effective means to blend into their environment and escape being eaten by a bird or wasp.
The Emerald Wavy cleverly disguises its body with pieces of a composite flower like rudbeckia. It's able to add bits and pieces of petals to its spiny back with silk and seems to instinctively know when it's time to freshen the dress!
The Emerald Wavy Lined moth is quite common, but folks rarely notice these loper or inchworm caterpillars because their camouflage is so successful. They hide beautifully on the cone and gardener and bird don't seem to notice. I might have missed this wonderful opportunity to have a close encounter with this clever creature had I not been looking for a stand of fresh flowers to photograph. It was a hot, still day and the 'petal' of a tattered Susan was moving about. Looking closer I saw what looked like a mutated petal attached to the cone of a Susan and met my new garden friend.
There are plenty of Susans at Clay and Limestone, so I don't mind sharing a few with the Emerald Wavy. Before long it will attach itself to the stem or underside of the leaf and weave silk and petal parts creating a perfectly camouflaged cocoon. A short time later a small emerald moth will emerge....
Isn't nature grand~
If you want to see other creatures who share the garden with me go here~Southern Crimson Moth: Return Of The Stealth Chompers; Taking care Of Bzzness (native bees); The Boys Of Late Summer and This Post Is rated BG (both Black Swallowtail caterpillar)