The internet is set alight by a video of a crawling caterpillar with a TAIL

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The internet is set alight by a video of a crawling caterpillar with a TAIL

The internet is set alight by a video of a crawling caterpillar wagging its TAIL - as no one guessed the creature even had oneThe cate

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The internet is set alight by a video of a crawling caterpillar wagging its TAIL – as no one guessed the creature even had one

  • The caterpillar form of an impatiens hawkmoth was filmed wagging its ‘tail’ 
  • Many caterpillars, particularly hawkmoths, use their tails to distract predators
  • Other caterpillars have horns or fake eye spots on their rear to distract from head

A video of a caterpillar with a wagging tail has confused people who didn’t even know the insects possessed the body part. 

An impatiens hawkmoth in its caterpillar form was filmed walking along concrete in a video posted to the Australia subreddit on Friday.

‘Caterpillar tail. Who knew?’ The post was captioned. 

An impatiens hawkmoth in its caterpillar form (pictured) was filmed walking along concrete in a video posted to the Australia subreddit on Friday

The video shows the caterpillar walking as its antenna-like tail vertically bounces up and down

An impatiens hawkmoth in its caterpillar form was filmed walking along concrete in a video posted to the Australia subreddit on Friday. It shows the caterpillar walking as its antenna-like tail vertically bounces up and down

The video begins with the caterpillar walking as its antenna-like tail vertically bounces up and down.  

It is not known exactly what the tail is for but it is likely used as a distraction or to scare off predators. 

Many caterpillars have tails, horns or fake eye marks to trick predators into attacking their rear end rather than their head. 

Tails are also a common trait of hawkmoth caterpillars in particular and are also seen in other subspecies such as the deaths-head hawkmoth.     

The caterpillar in the video was a impatiens hawkmoth, which is found in Australia, India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Thailand, Borneo and the Philippines. 

The Coffs Harbour Butterfly House website describes the different phases of the hawkmoth caterpillar (left), which are known as 'instars'. Eventually, the caterpillar evolves into its moth form (right)

The Coffs Harbour Butterfly House website describes the different phases of the hawkmoth caterpillar (left), which are known as ‘instars’. Eventually, the caterpillar evolves into its moth form (right)

The Coffs Harbour Butterfly House website outlines the different phases of the hawkmoth caterpillar, which are known as ‘instars’.  

‘The first and second instars of these caterpillars are green with a row of dark-outlined pale spots along each side of the back, and a black tail spike,’ the website reads.  

‘Later instars are black, the rows of spots become yellow, and spike on its tail becomes a thin spine. 

‘As they walk, this spine does a cute wiggle.’ 

When the caterpillar reaches its last instar, it will go into a cocoon and emerge in its moth form, which is greyish brown with a silvery white abdomen.  

When the caterpillar reaches its last instar, it will go into a cocoon and emerge in its moth form (pictured), which is greyish brown with a silvery white abdomen

When the caterpillar reaches its last instar, it will go into a cocoon and emerge in its moth form (pictured), which is greyish brown with a silvery white abdomen

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