Troy Straub's picture

How many times have you done this?

OK, I know I can't be the only one. It's happened to me too many times. I spent several minutes and took so many shots trying to make sure I got a good clear shot of this tiny, less than a half inch, Monarch caterpillar's face and eyes. Only to come home load the pics on to the computer to see it full size and realize, I had been looking at the south end of a northbound caterpillar! lol!

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Gion-Andri Derungs's picture

lol! But(t) you got it in focus! :)

Troy Straub's picture

Perfect comment, well played! I thought I could see it's head bobbing around munching away. In hindsight I think it was wiggling it at me, laughing, and thinking "Wait until he figures this out!

Terry Waggoner's picture

Hey, whichever end is the most interesting.......

Actually, just 'bout an hour ago I thought I was photographing a caterpillar, but after examining the pictures I noticed something was off ...

It appeared to be an empty shell of one (eaten from the inside ?) Quite puzzled about this.

Troy Straub's picture

Neat pic! I think that is an exoskeleton from a molt. Bugs have to molt their skin to grow, even in there larval form.

bluerhino's picture

Once, but I wasn't taking a picture. I was observing a hornworm caterpillar. Its quite easy to get tricked by which side is their actual head because they use it a defense mechanism for predators.

Hey look, I have multiple crazy eyes!

I'm willing to bet most wouldn't even realize it unless you said something. Generally if they have two sets, focus on the longer thinner set, that's the head. If they have one, like the hornworm, focus on the opposite end without the horn.

Troy Straub's picture

Thanks for the tips I'll keep them in mind next time. I've made the same mistake with tiny moths or millers For them I've realized I need to shoot for the smaller end. I'm going to try to get a few more pics in a couple days it should be much bigger then.

Ruth Carll's picture

When I saw this fellow on a sunflower on my mother-in-law's porch I thought "oh my this is going to be the BEST!" I didn't even have my camera so i whipped out the phone and tried to capture the beautiful yellow caterpillar on the yellow flower. When i got home and really looked at the shot and.... count me in the "Accidental Wrong End Club"!

Fun topic!


Troy Straub's picture

Awesome shot, welcome too the club! Looks like it was posing for and laughing at you the whole time!

Ruth Carll's picture

Agreed! Thanks for the welcome too

Troy Straub's picture

Here are another couple shots to add to this thread. I knew I was at the wrong end on this one, but hoped to get a few more shots in. This Harvestmen zipped by really quick. I only got two shots off and amazingly hit focus pretty well on both. So close to a good shot, butt so far away.

Teemu Paukamainen's picture

Hehe! Been there, done that. Sometimes it's indeed impossible to know which end is which. :D