Meet the “Hello Kitty” Caterpillar

Photo credit: Meiwa Suisan

Photo credit: Meiwa Suisan

I am not fond of caterpillars but I might just change my mind if someone gives me a “Hello Kitty” caterpillar, which is actually the larva of the Chinese Bush Brown butterfly (Mycalesis gotama).

This mostly green little creature has a flat face and a head that resembles the shape of the “Hello Kitty” cartoon character. Although the face actually has brown markings instead of the white of Hello Kitty, its shape is so similar to the cartoon character that it is easy to make the association.


By Janine from Mililani, Hawaii, United States (hello toasterUploaded by Fæ) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

According to Neatorama, this creature is native to Japan; though it is hard to believe it does not exist in China as well as its name suggests it is from the country. It is possible that the name was caused by a mix-up as there are plenty of different species of Mycalesis butterflies found across South Asia and the Wallacea as well as other regions in Central Asia and Australia.

It would be interesting to see just how the butterfly looks like as the larva is so cute. With a common name of “bush brown”, the species quite possibly looks brown just like the rest of the butterflies in the genus.

According to Wikipedia, this genus is polymorphic. This means that most of the species have different forms, depending on the season. This is often seen as variations in the eyespots found on its underwing as well as the size of the butterflies during a specific season.

By AshLin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

By AshLin (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Though the butterfly does not appear to be unique, its caterpillar is surely a notable creature – and might even find its way in terrariums across the world.

Sources: Neatorama, Meiwa Suisan, Wikipedia

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