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Masters of camouflage

Masters of camouflage
Photo Information
Copyright: Monika MvJ (thistle) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1309 W: 74 N: 3014] (9282)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4200, Nikkor ED 38-114 F/2.8-4.8
Exposure: f/4.8, 1/251 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mimicry, Camouflage [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-11-08 5:31
Viewed: 5472
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Yesterday I said I'll try to post something with longer note, so today I choose this shot. I hope you will find this post interesting.

The creature you can see on my photo is a caterpillar of moth that belong to Geometridae family.

These fellows can be easily named masters of camouflage in the world of buterflies. The exquisite camouflage of both caterpillar and adult stages is the reason for their evolutionary success.

The caterpillars are often called measuring worms, inchworms or loopers because of their quite exceptional way of walking. Even their latin name can be translated as "earth measurer". Why?
A geometrid caterpillar moves in alternate contractions and expansions suggestive of measuring. And it's quite hard not to notice such extraordinary view.

On the other hand you can hardly ever see them when they just sit still and not move. As I found out most of them pretend to be a twig and usually this is a twig of particular tree, so the camouflage is almost perfect. They have proper colours. Body seems to be quite stiff and some of them can raise themselves and stand on their claspers, sticking straight out at an angle, and so looking even more like a twig.
Usually they have special marks and structures on the body that resemble tree buds, texture of bark and any other features of twig.

On the photo you can see it quite clearly. I put there some close-ups and you must admit the camouflage of head as a bud is great.

I noticed this caterpillar only because I've been taking photo of other moth larvae (very hairy one) feeding on the same willow tree.
As for the ID. I think this could be Biston betularia known as Peppered Moth, but that's not 100% sure.

The catterpillars of this species can be found on oak, elm, birch and willow trees and the adult form has colours of birch bark and therefore they can be usually find sitting on the birch trunk.

Photos have been taken at the bank of pond behind my house. I had to use fill-in flash cause the BG was to bright and the caterpillar was in shadow.

wallhalla15, cedryk, TAZ, red45, scottevers7, Phoki, mogens-j, marhowie, liquidsunshine, Libor, livios, klemmg, Janice, dew77, Signal-Womb, gerhardt, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To cedryk: Dzieki!thistle 1 11-08 16:17
To livios: Themethistle 1 11-08 16:10
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Critiques [Translate]

Wow that´s an excellent collage with great pictures and note. Congrats!. Great colours, lighting and excellent sharpness. A very nice composition. Thanks for posting.

Hello Monika :-)
To me it also seems that you have captured a caterpillar of Biston betularia (Linnaeus, 1758).

This is the famous peppered moth used in evolution books to illustrate so called industrial melanism and driving force of natural selection.

The species has two variants: dark and white. In industrial areas birch trees turn dark and the predators could easily catch white moths on dark trees, as a result of this action proportion of white moths decreased and the darker version became frequent...

Here the larva is on the willow, but there is a large variety of food plants for this species: Quercus spp., Betula spp., Ulmus spp., Fagus spp., Salix spp., Arbores fructiferae, etc.

And last but not least, in Polish the species is called Wlochacz nabrzozak :-)
Best greetings,

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-11-08 7:18]

Excellent presentation Monika! Pictures are sharp, clear and colorfull. I like different POVs and many interesting details. Bright sky as BG is great idea. Very good and interesting note. Also - critique by Michal is great.

Hi Monika,
Great presentation here. The subject is well adapted to his surrounding to blend in so well. Excellent color and detail in all the shots. Great job!

Excellent post Monika.

The pictures show very well how these caterpillars sourvive. Very good sharpness and details, colours look very natural and the composition in this set is very good. Very informative note too. Great job.

bonjour monica
bravo pour cette photo et pour le decoupage.

Hi Monica,
wow, you have so good eyes to see this caterpillars. OK - what shall I tell you about good contrast ?!? :-) Hahaha.
A marvelous collage, I like it very much, bye
Sabine - wishnugaruda

All very nice views of your caterpillar Monika. Very good color, sharpness and use of flash to bring out the details here. Excellent note also. Well done!
Thank you

Very nice presentation Monika,
Firstly, well done for noticing the caterpillar.
Perfect detail, colour, sharpness and lighting.
Composition and exposure are perfect. As always the framing and notes are excellent.
Thanks for posting, have a great week.

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2005-11-08 13:56]

piękny zestaw, ten robal faktycznie świetnie się kamufluje. Bdb jakości dobry opis. Gratulacje i
pozdr. Al.

  • Great 
  • Libor Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 164 W: 1 N: 25] (1101)
  • [2005-11-08 14:47]

Hi Monika
excellent colage
good colors,details and note
very good work

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-11-08 14:59]
  • [+]

Monika, great shots, but where's the caterpillar? (LOL)

I do enjoy mimicry, and your shots show well how it happens. Congratulations.

I added your picture to a theme of mine.

Nice montage, well presented.


  • Great 
  • klemmg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 302 W: 40 N: 484] (1719)
  • [2005-11-08 17:40]

Excellent quality and presentation, on top of being really interesting. Instead of just jumbling a few shots together at random, you really show something here, and you show it very well indeed. WOW!!!

Great photomontage Monika! It's amazing how they look! They surely are masters of camouflage! Nice colors, excellent sharpness and details. TFS!

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-11-09 3:41]

Beautiful and interesting collage that you have well done ! Congratulations Monika and thanks for sharing.

" Life is so rare in the universe and Nature so precious, we must take care of them! " Christian...

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-11-09 5:12]

Yes, very interesting Monika. They are masters of disguise - I had to look twice to find them. Excellent photos, you must be thrilled with them all. Well shown, and once again your notes are a joy to read. Well done...

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-11-09 10:12]

Hello Monika!
Very nice collage.All frame are well detailed and composed.Very well done!TFS...:-)

Superb presentation and great macro work Monika, very good clarity and sharpness in all images. Good job.

  • Great 
  • puciu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 16] (2631)
  • [2005-11-09 15:41]

Cześć . faktycznie dobrze zakamuflowana, ja też taką wypatrzyłem. Świetna prezentacja.

Yes, this is very interesting. A really nice collage of photos with a nice note. Very well done.

Very descriptive document, nicely presented.
Excellent details, good lights and colours, but still very artistic.
Great work, well done.

Piękne zdjęcie Biston betularia.
Bardzo dobre kolory i kompozycja.


Hi Monika
Interesting camouflage-collage with educational notes.


Dear Monika,
Bravo for a marvelous example of camouflage, and I have added your work to my new theme "camouflage"

Thanks for sharing this skilled demonstration of visible and invisible.

Greetings from South Africa
Ingrid Shaul

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