Featured Fauna – The “Antlered” Flutter Fly

Walking through the woods at a slow pace makes you an easier target for mosquitoes, but it also allows you see more. As I hiked through the woods recently, I came up on a grove of Spicebush plants (native to Pennsylvania) and stopped to search for an elusive caterpillar that calls these bushes home. I have been trying to photograph the Spicebush caterpillar (larva for the Papilio troilus, the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly) but so far I have ever found one. This caterpillar has a pattern that makes it look like a mini snake and it even has a fake snake tongue that it flickers when it is threatened. I will write more about this if I am able to photograph it sometime.

Although I did not locate the caterpillar or the butterfly tonight, I did find an unusual insect on a Spicebush leaf that looks like he is wearing a pair of fake reindeer antlers. Unfortunately, there are only a few websites with limited information on this Flutter Fly (Toxonevra superba). Here is a video and a few photos of this unique species.

Antlered Flutter Fly - Toxonevra superba

Antlered Flutter Fly - Toxonevra superba

 

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