Friday Cat-erpillar Blogging: Small World Edition

Caterpillar Proleg

Caterpillar Proleg

Fourth Place at the 2014 Nikon Small World Contest went to Karin Panser for this wonderful image of a caterpillar proleg. Karin used a confocal microscope. The Crochets (hooks) of the prolegs appear as red offset by an autofluorescence glow from some of the surrounding cells. The hooks allow the caterpillar to grip a plant tightly with its abdominal prolegs. The prolegs can be retracted and extended such that the crochets engage the plant when the caterpillar is clinging to a plant and disengage when the caterpillar is moving the proleg. The image has an appealing aesthetic quality due to its symmetry and the soft colors.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Art, by jjneal, Caterpillar Blogging. Bookmark the permalink.

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