Rare skull caterpillar sighted in Rillaar

The rare skull caterpillar has been spotted in Rillaar in Flemish Brabant Province outside Brussels.  A couple found the caterpillar in their garden and are now keeping it in captivity until it turns into the butterfly made famous in the movie “The Silence of the Lambs”.

Lilian explained that her hubby was harvesting new potatoes when he saw something fall between the plants: “He didn’t immediately identify the creature but saw it was a large caterpillar.  We showed it to the neighbours who couldn’t place it either, but then we went on the net and discovered it was a skull caterpillar.”

In order to prevent the creature from escaping he put it into a bucket until it turns into “a beautiful butterfly”.

The couple put some earth in the bucket too to help the poor creature’s transition in captivity: “We don’t know how long it will take” Lilian told VRT.  “We are being patient!”

Environmentalists at Natuurpunt say that they have only received two reports of the creature in Flanders so far this year.  Last year there were 7 sightings.  The skull caterpillar is a foreign butterfly that is rare in Belgium.  It takes its name from the light mark on its breast area in the form of a human skull.