04 September 2007

Fat, green horned devil


I found this caterpillar on a path in the woods near my house yesterday. It was alive, but just lying there to be run over by a bicyclist or a runner. It didn't object too vigorously to being picked up with a leaf and carried to my backyard.


It looked like there was some black encrustation around the caterpillar's body behind its head. During the photo session, a wasp got interested in the caterpillar and kept landing on the encrusted parts. I don't know what the deal was.



After the photo session I placed the caterpillar in a secluded place in my yard. When I checked on it about an hour later, it wasn't there anymore.

Later, a quick search thru the caterpillar pictures on BugGuide revealed that this was a Hickory Horned Devil, the caterpillar of the Royal Walnut Moth (or Regal Moth, Citheronia regalis).


Roger B. said...

Are you absolutely sure it couldn't have come from outer space?


Now that you mention it...

Snail said...

That's an amazing looking critter.

...Kat said...

and by its blue color it was ready to pupate within the soil!


live-thin said...

The wasp prey on caterpillars to lay there eggs on them which is really bad for the caterpillar.

Good find.
The Hickory Horned Devil is a very uncomman caterpillar.
I have yet to see one.