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Ilia Underwing Caterpillar

Catocala ilia

Description:

This caterpillar looks just like lichen! It doesn't move much. When I checked on it two hours later, it was exactly where I left it. Nestled in a rill in the bark, it was hidden in plain sight. When I touched its back, it quickly flipped its head backwards, as if to bite. Has red spots on underside. Very cool little critter.

Habitat:

Suburban yard, on trunk of dead oak tree.

Notes:

Note on Bug Guide suggests this might be an unusual color morph: "Per Wagner (2005), most caterpillars are gray and essentially bark-colored, but very occasionally spectacular lichen mimics are encountered." (http://bugguide.net/node/view/24507)

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7 Comments

Mandy Hollman
Mandy Hollman 5 years ago

Wow, thank you!!! :)

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

LaurenZarate
LaurenZarate 5 years ago

Fantastic larva! Great camouflage.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

Wow fantastic spotting. Looks exactly like a foliose lichen.

Sachin Zaveri
Sachin Zaveri 9 years ago

Nice one,

Mandy Hollman
Mandy Hollman 9 years ago

It eats oak, just mimics lichen. Stick insect is cool!

MartinL
MartinL 9 years ago

Cool spotting and its good to have the ID. I wonder if it eats lichen. I wonder if it is nocturnal and never moves diurnally. Other insects have lichen forms such as this stick insect.
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/819...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34449831@N0...

Mandy Hollman
Spotted by
Mandy Hollman

Georgia, USA

Spotted on Mar 22, 2012
Submitted on Mar 23, 2012

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