Hyalophora Cecropia Moth Caterpillar
I found this guy crawling up a piece of wood in the garden. I knew it must be some sort of moth caterpillar, but have never seen one quite like this.
It measures almost 8″ long and looks like some sort of alien land rover. Apologies to those of you who get the heebeejeebees over stuff like this.
It’s a Hyalophora cecropia moth caterpillar. Kind of freaky looking, don’t you think?
Some interesting facts include:
- While the caterpillar has a fine appetite, the adult moth has no mouth or digestive parts and therefore lives only a week or so with the sole purpose of mating.
- The female moths emit pheromones which the males can sense from a mile away. Some fly many miles in search of a mate.
- In autumn, the caterpillar finds a place to spin its coccoon (like the back of the piece of wood I found it on).
- If it survives all threats (hungry squirrels, parasitic wasps, etc.), it will emerge in the spring as an adult moth.
Here’s what the adult moths look like:
[Adult Moth Photo Source]
I relocated the caterpillar to a spot behind the shed. We’ll see if I notice any big moths in the spring.