Colorful caterpillar has fake eyes to deter predators

This pretty caterpillar was filmed near Puyo in the upper Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Its bright colors (aposematic coloration) warns potential predators that it is unpalatable or even toxic or has venomous spines. In addition it has fake eyes to deter predators.

Unfortunately a parasitoid fly laid several eggs onto the caterpillar. Upon hatching the fly larva will burrow into its host and eat it from inside. Looks like those eyes can't scare off ALL predators!

There are more than 3500 species of butterflies and some 10000 of moths in Ecuador and their larvae have evolved different strategies to escape predators. Some hide in the vegetation due to camouflage coloration, others resemble a stick or moss or mimic bird droppings.