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Rich Laburn

Head of Digital

Rich is the driving force behind Londolozi’s online storytelling and the Londolozi blog. His passions of digital media, film and photography, combined with his field-guiding background, have seen him take the Londolozi blog to new heights since he began it in 2009. Rich ...

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8 Comments

on Procession of Hairy Caterpillars

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steve baker
Member
Guest

The explanation offered seems logical to me?

It would be interesting to see the ends of the procession; how the caterpillars organize and disperse.

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Agreed Steve, however this was the only explanation I could find online and was curious as to if there were any others. I am not sure how these caterpillars disperse as they were moving painfully slowly over a period of a number of hours. Thanks for your comments. rich

Arden Zalman
Member
Guest

They know what they’re doing

Geri Potter
Member
Guest

Ants do something similar when going back and forth between feeding and their nest. There appeared to be a viscous substance, like a string behind the last caterpillar…like a trail, for them to follow. Do they switch leaders, do you know? Like geese in a triangular formation? Or is theleader ALWAYS the same?

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

I am not sure Geri as there were masses of them. Even identifying where the trail began and ended was quite challenging. Thanks for your thoughts. rich

Peter Pyburn
Member
Guest

Rich, I photographed something similar on my plot here in Guateng. Only much smaller caterpillars, presumably with the same defensive strategy. Maybe similar to schools of fish where the unlucky “outsiders” provide the saftey for the mass in getting preyed on first?
My photos with the phone are poor, but you can see the line.

Kate Collins
Guest contributor

Love this Rich! I had a wonderful encounter with them on my run yesterday. Saw two lines of the caterpillars crossing in the road and it looked like at least 1.5 to 2 metres long. Saw a smaller procession after our stargazing talks last night – absolutely fascinating.

Norma Prince
Member
Guest

I have just discovered a similar caterpillar “trail” from my lawn onto my verandah! Whilst I like to encourage most forms of wildlife, I do wonder what these caterpillars might consume in my small garden. They look just like the ones in the video above. Can anyone identify them for me?

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