Hawaii Biological Survey’s


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99. Carnivorous Caterpillar

Scientific name: Eupethecia staurophragma

Hawaiian Name: —

Classification: Phylum: Arthropoda. Class: Insecta: Order. Neuroptera. Family: Hemerobiidae.

Origin: Endemic.

Status: Rare.

Distribution: East Maui.

Map: —

Insects better be careful around this guy! While caterpillars are normally vegetarians, a few in Hawai‘i have become hungry for meat! They are clever in camouflaging themselves (this one pictured is the same color as the twigs on which it rests). In a flash, they snatch up insects in mid-air and start chomping—this one captured is a picture-winged Drosophila fly. Pretty humiliating to be eaten by a caterpillar.

   Photo © William P. Mull