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:

It is a beautiful pink and yellow moth when it is an adult.
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.

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