Meet the Inch Worm From Hell: the Predatory Hawaiian Caterpillar
The Predatory Hawaiian Caterpillar (Eupithecia orichloris) has evolved to fulfill a niche normally occupied by insects like praying mantises. Since there aren’t any on the islands of Hawaii, something had to step up and become a super insectivorous predator. This guy! It blends in almost to perfection amongst the dense foliage of its habitat and waits patiently until an unsuspecting insect wanders by. You see, these Predatory Caterpillar’s have long, thin appendages on their abdomen which act as sensory organs. When something touches these sensory appendages, the sinister caterpillar will bend back and quickly strike the confused insect. To make matters worse (for the insect) these guys are equipped with raptor-like claws to tightly constrain their squirming meals. The little animation below shows just how deadly these things can be.