Predation pressure is essential in regulating population dynamics of herbivorous insects. We used artificial caterpillars (25 × 4 mm) made from brown-or green-coloured plasticine to compare predation pressure between countryside and near-natural rain-forest habitat in the Gulfo Dulce region (Costa Rica). Within each habitat, 162 caterpillars were placed randomly on different substrates along a 1200-m transect and at heights between 0.5 and 2.0 m. Artificial caterpillars were inspected at 24-h intervals for 3 consecutive days. Predation pressure was almost twice as high for countryside (mean attack frequency per capita: 1.11 ± 0.08 SE) compared with rain forest (0.66 ± 0.07 SE). In both habitats arthropods emerged as chief predator group, followed by birds. Attacks by non-volant mammals were very rare and restricted to rain-forest sites. In the countryside, bird attacks were more than four times as common as in forest, indicating a change in their relative importance across habitats.