A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
This caterpillar is full grown (fifth instar) It appeared to be a mauve color with small yellow spiracles ringed in a dark green color. Horns are evident in the photos. Once it was picked up (last photo) its underside was green in color. Ref: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/bfly...
Deciduous and evergreen forests. These larvae/moths can be found in the eastern, north eastern and south/south eastern parts of the United States. Food: These caterpillars feed on a wide variety of leaves which include the following: Bald cypress, birch, basswood, cedar, elm, hickory, Honeylocust, oak, pine, Sassafras, Sweetgum, sycamore, and walnut. Ref: https://bugguide.net/node/view/4757
This caterpillar was found on our playground probably looking for a spot to burrow. Due to the high traffic of students in the area we chose to relocate it to an adjacent field. Last year students spotted an adult among the trees near our playground. Interesting Facts: This moth is a member of the silk moth family. As adults they do not have a functional mouth and therefore do not eat. They survive off of stored fat! They live an average of 5 days as adults. The adult moth can have a wingspan between 3-7 inches. Females are larger than males. The larvae of imperial moth butterflies breath through their spiracles (which appear to be small colored circles on their segmented bodies) Ref: http://www.birdsandblooms.com/blog/fun-m... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eacles_imp... https://www.thoughtco.com/parts-of-a-cat...
Spotted on Oct 22, 2018
Submitted on Apr 21, 2019
and 1 other person favorited this spotting