caterpillar Uraba lugen

Insects are some of the strangest animals that exist on our planet and this caterpillar has a particularly odd way of scaring off other animals that might want to eat it – it wears a hat made off its old moulted heads. 

The caterpillar of the moth Uraba lugens, which is found in Australia and New Zealand has been given the nickname the mad hatterpillar because of its peculiar “hat”. 

As it grows in size, the caterpillar sheds its skin or exosekeleton, but rather than discarding its old head it instead keeps it on top of its new one. The caterpillar can shed its skin up to thirteen times leaving it with a very strange hat as old heads pile up on top of each other. 

Scientists believe the caterpillar’s “hat of heads “confuses predators and increases their survival chances. 

Source: New Scientist

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