And sometimes the swan is a step down - where looks are concerned - from the cygnet, (or caterpillar, in the examples below.)
The most bizarre-looking caterpillars often turn into the most beautiful butterflies or moths. For instance, below is the Chinese Moon, or Luna Moth. The green one is a female, the pinkish one is a male. The rumpled green caterpillar below is their larvae.
above & below: Shawn Hanrahan
This beautiful larva of Saturnia pyri is merely the precursor to the Giant Peacock Moth it is destined to become, below...
Here we have the sprightly larvae of Cerura vinula, the Puss Moth caterpillar
And here is Cerura vinula, the Puss Moth.
The Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) Xmas Lights Caterpillar
And here is what he becomes - the Cecropia Moth.
Below are Spanish Moth (Xanthopastis timais) larvae. Below them, the Spanish Moth.
And then there's Mycalesis gotama who sports a cat's face as a caterpillar, and trades it for owl-eyed wings as an adult.
Next is the very elegant and grand-sounding Grand Imperial (Neocheritra amrita amrita) and it's unprepossessing larvae.