Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jolly Green Giant? No, it's an Imperial Moth caterpillar, Eacles imperialis

Imagine my surprise when I caught sight of this fellow! At first I thought it was a misplaced Tomato Hornworm, but quickly realized Hornworms do not have hair. This one does not have a lot of hairs, but it does have some. I did not touch it as hairs can sting!



The caterpillar is eating the leaves of an Eastern Red Cedar, Juniperous virginiana, which is actually not a cedar at all but is a Juniper.

To see pictures of other caterpillars that have stinging hairs go to:
http://whatsthatbug.com/caterpillar_3.html



It is a beautiful pink and yellow moth when it is an adult.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/4757/bgimage
This caterpillar is quite large.
It is bigger around than my index finger and almost an inch longer.



To see an excellent photo go here.
http://www.thehiddenworld.net/eacles.html

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