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Spiny Oak Slug Moth (larva)

Euclea delphinii


As the official last full day of summer comes to an end in the Northern Hemisphere, I decided to share my favorite find of the Summer, a lime-green caterpillar with vibrant spines and festive colors, Euclea delphinii. These caterpillars are members of the family Limacodidae, known as Slug Moths. The larvae of Limacodidae are likened to slugs because of their lethargic movement and head being hidden by the body, only to be shown when the caterpillar raises its body.


Found on a shed; reclocated to larval hostplant of Oak (Quercus sp.). In David L. Wagner's guide, "Caterpillars of Eastern North America," he states the larvae grow to 2 centimeters, so it is likely this caterpillar may be near its full growth.


Lifer! This find was a total surprise and absolutely spectacular! I thought I was seeing things when I saw this on a shed from a distance, but as I approached my jaw dropped in amazement. I gently nudged it on to a leaf without touching the spines (reactions very from a small nuisance to excruciating pains). The spines break off and release irritant chemicals into the body.

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45 Comments (1–25)

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 8 years ago

Thank you very much, Rieko, Luis, and Mark!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 years ago

Fantastic cattie J. Congratulations.

LuisStevens 8 years ago

Beautiful spotting! Congrats Jacob!

RiekoS 8 years ago

Congratulations !!!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 8 years ago

Thank you so much, Leanne! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

LeanneGardner 8 years ago

Congratulations Jacob, on your amazing SOTD. Love the video too, it's beautiful :)

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 8 years ago

Thank you very much Braulio!

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 8 years ago

Thank you so much Env, Ashley, Rick, Reza, Mona, Chester, Tiz, Sachin, Marta, Andrea, Sergio, António, namitha, Maria, and Carol for your extremely kind comments and words of congratulations! Thank you very much to Karen for selecting this as Spotting of the Day! I'm honored not only for this spotting but for the opportunity to share my love and thirst of knowledge for nature with such a wonderful community!

Congrats, J!
What an awesome find!

Carol Snow Milne
Carol Snow Milne 8 years ago

WOW! I love this. Congratulations!

Maria dB
Maria dB 8 years ago

Congratulations, Jacob!

namitha 8 years ago

Congratulations J, on SOTD for this spectacular, well deserved summer find!

J congrats again on the SOTD :-)

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 8 years ago

One more for the cat's! Congratulations, Jacob. :-)

Andrea Lim
Andrea Lim 8 years ago

What an amazing caterpillar J. Congratulations on your SOTD!!

The MnMs
The MnMs 8 years ago

Congratulations! I knew it could be an SOTD, is such a pretty caterpillar :-)

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 8 years ago

Congratulations !!

Tiz 8 years ago

Congratulations (again) to this great find Jakubko, and to the spotting of the day! :)

chesterbperry 8 years ago

This has me feeling irie!

Mona Pirih
Mona Pirih 8 years ago

Congratulations J.. :)

Congratulations J !

RickLampman 8 years ago

CONGRATS !! On A Great Find & SOTD Great Series Jacob !!

AshleyT 8 years ago

Beautiful, Jacob! Fantastic photos showing so much detail, and the video is pretty awesome too :)

KarenL 8 years ago

Woohoo! This spectacular caterpillar has earned you spotting of the day honors, Jacob!

The spiny oak slug moth caterpillar’s bright coloration warns potential predators of its sting.

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 8 years ago

Thank you for your very kind words, António!!

Jacob Gorneau
Spotted by
Jacob Gorneau

Maine, USA

Spotted on Aug 12, 2013
Submitted on Sep 22, 2013

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