Have you ever seen one of these freaky little insects in your yard and thought, "I wonder what the heck that turns into?". Well, the answer might surprise you.

Fascinating Insects

I'm not a big insect fan of any kind, but I do know that every one of them has a certain purpose on this Earth, so I try to appreciate them for that.

The other day I saw this post come up in the Strange Wisconsin Facebook group, and I can honestly say I have never seen one of these before nor do I know what it is...

Deb Saucer via Strange Wisconsin on Facebook
Deb Saucer via Strange Wisconsin on Facebook
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Yes, those pictures are of a caterpillar, but before we dive into why it has fake eyes, let's take a moment to applaud the person who commented on that post with this...

Strange Wisconsin Facebook group
Strange Wisconsin Facebook group
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I can 100 percent guarantee that if I had seen one of those caterpillars in my garden or flower beds I would have run away screaming "SNAKE", but I feel calmer today knowing what it actually is.

So, what is it exactly? It's a future Swallowtail Butterfly!

What Are Swallowtail Butterflies?

There are over 550 different species of Swallowtail Butterflies on Earth, and some of them are the largest butterflies in existence.

At least seven different species of Swallowtail Butterflies call Illinois and Wisconsin home, but the Black Swallowtail and Tiger Swallowtail are the two that are seen most commonly.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
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I think we can all agree that those butterflies are beautiful, so why do they look so creepy as caterpillars?

Why Do Swallowtail Butterflies Have 'Fake' Eyes?

When you stop and think about it, the reason why many different Swallowtail caterpillar species have fake eyes is pretty obvious; protection.

Some of these caterpillars can get very large in size, so the "eyes" are there to fool predators into thinking it's a snake. Pretty cool, right?

Here's a YouTube video I found wtih more fun facts about Swallotail Butterflies...enjoy!

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