Translucent Caterpillar Has Eerily Visible Insides

The caterpillar of the Brazilian Skipper Butterfly has translucent skin that offers an eerily clear view of its insides, especially the circulatory system.

Brazilian skipper butterflies are larger than most skipper butterflies, but it’s not their size that sets them apart as a species, it’s their appearance during the caterpillar stage. What really makes this tiny critter special is its translucent skin, which offers a very clear view inside the caterpillar, revealing the organs and especially the circulatory system. This see-through skin gives the Brazilian skipper caterpillar a very strange look, especially when you realize that the twitching dark line that runs down its back, from its head to the rear of the abdomen, is the heart.

Found in the United States from southern Florida and southern Texas, as well as through the West Indies, Central America, down to Argentina, in South America, the Brazilian skipper feeds on the leaves of Canna Lilies.


The caterpillar starts off greenish-gray, but becomes a darker green as it eats fresh undigested leaves. They can eat enough of a leaf to fold it, remaining inside the fap of the leaf for protection. The caterpillar leaves its shelter at night to feed on the leaf along the top.


Although not as freaky-looking as this skull-shaped caterpillar of the pink underwing moth, or a master of camouflage like the Common Baron caterpillar, there’s no denying that the Brazillian caterpillar is one of the most fascinating creatures we’ve ever featured on OC.


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