Acronicta funeralis The Delaware native paddle caterpillar above also employs it's adornments for defense against parasitoids. When touched, the caterpillar thrashes its head from side to side, sending the 'paddles' flailing wildly - a formidable challenge for a small wasp. Instead of stinging, the caterpillar (larva of the funerary dagger moth) hides out during the day doing its best impression of bird poop.
Some species of caterpillar have 4,000 muscles in their body. Compare that to the human muscular system, which is made up of only 639. It’s not unusual for insects to have more muscles than humans; grasshoppers have about 900. Still, why do caterpillars have so many more muscles? It’s for a unique form of transportation. Caterpillars use all of their muscles to move, but not in the same way that we do. They contract their body muscles, forcing their internal organs forward. When cate...