Macro Monday (259/365)

by Lee Santiva September. 16, 2019 465 views
Spiny elm caterpillar - Nymphalis antiopa - Trauermantel Raupe - Mourning Cloak caterpillar

Spiny elm caterpillar - Nymphalis antiopa - Trauermantel Raupe - Mourning Cloak caterpillar

The spiny elm caterpillar turns into a mourning cloak butterfly (nymphalis antiopa) called Trauermantel in German.

It is a protected and endangered species in Austria and Switzerland. It's environment is usually at elevations above 900 meters.

I discovered this guy and his buddies while on a hike in the Oetztal Valley in Austria on my vacation.

It had just stopped raining and he still had the water droplets on his back as he was busy eating the leaves of a Salix cinerea (willow) bush.

Nymphalis antiopa caterpillar upside down on the stem

Nymphalis antiopa caterpillar upside down on the stem

The spiny elm caterpillar has eight red prolegs and is covered with white hairs and black spines. When fully grown, the mourning cloak caterpillars are about two inches in length.

Close-up of the eight red prolegs of the nymphalis antiopa caterpillar

Close-up of the eight red prolegs of the nymphalis antiopa caterpillar

Good thing I always have my macro extension ring with me in my camera bag - these close ups wouldn't have been possible with out it.

For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphalis_antiopa

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Tsao T-F 1 year, 7 months ago

So cute! Yes, I see the water droplets. Good shot, Lee!grinning

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 7 months ago

Thank you so much, sometimes we get a reward for getting wet 😀

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 7 months ago

I smiled when I saw your photo. This morning I happen to come across two of these guys, but sadly they were not alive since they had landed in the pool. I am still trying to figure out how they happen to be in the pool since there are no trees close by.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Camellia Staab 1 year, 7 months ago

Thanks you have them in your backyard? How lucky I had to drive almost 5 hours then hike 2 hours to see them! 
Since squirrels eat these caterpillars my theory is that they accidentally dropped them in your pool. I remember you posting photos of the mischievous squirrels

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Lee Santiva 1 year, 7 months ago

That is a valid theory, since the front of the yard has a lot of trees, So could be they are being transported to the back and then somehow they escape but land in the pool.

1 year, 7 months ago Edited
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