|Silver-spotted skipper caterpillar with brown head - Chris Barnhart|
|Silver-spotted skipper - Wikimedia|
|Cocked and ready to fire|
Frass flinging is commonly found among caterpillars that live in leaf nests. Why do they bother? This is felt to be a defensive mechanism to eliminate the smell in the nest which would be a clue to predators, specifically the northern paper wasp, Polistes fuscatus as described in this study.
More stories of scat disposal and frass chain building caterpillars in future blogs.