Clip | Living Volcanoes - How Carnivorous Caterpillars Attack Their Prey

Nearly all caterpillars are herbivores, but not this one. These caterpillars on the islands of Hawaii have evolved with claws that are more suited to catching live prey. Watch the clever way they attack their meals.

Transcript Print

Few animals managed to reach a speck of land this far out in the middle of the ocean.

Those that did find a way, have been free to evolve into new ecological niches created by the volcano.

This is certainly true of the island''s insects.

Nearly every species of caterpillar in the world is a herbivore: a plant eater.

This caterpillar is not looking for a leaf to eat.

His claws are better suited to a more, lively meal.

A planthopper.

The best way to catch its prey is to launch an ambush attack.

To stand a chance, the caterpillar needs to find some better camouflage And then wait for its prey to come close.

Tiny sensitive clasps on the tip of its abdomen will trigger the attack.

Hawaii is a land of strange and bizarre creatures.

Isolated out in the Pacific, ninety percent of its native species are found nowhere else on the planet.