Vietnam Caterpillar Constructs Leaf Shelters and Jumps in Them

Posted on August 21, 2013

Calindoea trifascialis

A caterpillar in Vietnam, Calindoea trifascialis, constructs leaf shelters and jumps in them. The caterpillar uses its leaf shelter to feed on leaves. It also jumps while wearing the shelter. The researchers believe the jumping helps the caterpillar find shade and reduce sun exposure in the hot dry climate of Southern Vietnam.

The caterpillar is pictured hidden in its leaf shelter in the above photograph. The research was published here in Biology Letters.

The researchers from the Royal Ontario Museum where led by former ROM grad student and lead author Kim Humphreys. The researchers recorded several videos of the caterpillar jumping inside its leaf structure. They also replaced the caterpillar's leaf structure with a clear plastic "leaf" so the piston-like action of the caterpillar could be viewed. Take a look:

Photo: Kim Humphreys

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