A Caterpillar That Pretends To Be A Fearsome Snake

At first glance it may look like a fearsome snake but this rearing creature is actually a small caterpillar with a cunning means of defence. The Spicebush Swallowtail has evolved a large pair of false eyespots and bold yellow and blue markings to frighten off potential predators. The brightly coloured insect, which is only a few inches long, was snapped by wildlife biologist Jonathan Mays in Maine, U.S.He was photographing the striking caterpillars and the large black and orange butterflies they turn into in a red maple forest.

Mr Mays, said: ‘Swallowtail caterpillars are beautiful creatures. They strike a sense of wonder from many observers.‘Swallowtails have spots on their head that mimic snake eyes and are amazing to view.‘The disguise is very lifelike, so much so that even the reflection or eye-shine changes when viewed from different angles.‘The habitat was a spicebush stand amidst a red maple forest. I was at this site looking specifically for the caterpillars.’



What To Expect From Your African Grey Parrot


African grey parrots are extremely intelligent and alert; some may be high-strung. It is best to acquire these birds at a young age, because wild-caught individuals may have objectionable personalities and vocalizations. Selective breeding for calmness is being initiated by some aviculturists. There is a tendency for African greys to form a bond with an individual family member and become aggressive toward others, especially during the breeding season.

They are believed to be emotionally sensitive and may be prone to remember negative experiences and associate these with certain people and objects. African grey parrots have the greatest potential among common pet bird species for a range of vocalizations and an increasing vocabulary throughout their lives. This mimicking ability can include sounds like dripping water, flushing toilets, squeaky doors, coughs or sneezes and answering machines.

Vital statistics
Body length: 13 inches (33 cm)
Body weight
Congo: 300-550 grams
Timneh: 275-375 grams
Age of sexual maturity: 3-6 years
Maximum life span: 50 years

Is your African Grey a male or a female?

In most African greys, it is difficult to distinguish a male from a female based on physical characteristics; therefore, endoscopy or laboratory methods must be used for sex determination in breeding facilities. African greys prefer to choose their own mates and bond for life. Once initiated, African greys are prolific breeders and the offspring are easy to hand-feed.