Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar

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During the process of splitting and transferring wood from the woodpile yesterday, we discovered a large (2.5″ long) hairy caterpillar. I have enclosed two pictures of it [the second is below the fold]; it is the larval stage of the Giant Leopard Moth, Ecpantheria scribonia. The life cycle is described and the adult is pictured here.

Image: Dave Rintoul [wallpaper size]

Image: Dave Rintoul, KSU [wallpaper size]

Comments

  1. #1 carolyn13
    October 27, 2007

    I wonder if anyone would like to take a shot at identifying a caterpillar I saw about a month ago. I don’t have a photo of it. It was a bristled one like this, but a creamy tan with large black antenna. The antenna had rounded knobs on the end. It also had two black spiny protuberances on its tail. I live in the North Georgia mountains in a youngish hardwood forest.

  2. #2 Julie Stahlhut
    October 27, 2007

    Carolyn: The true antennae of caterpillars are usually very short and stubby, so you may have seen a caterpillar that had either fleshy filaments or thin bunches of long setae (hairs) that looked like antennae.

    You might want to check out http://www.bugguide.net for some insect photos. It can be hard to ID a caterpillar from scratch there, but you might want to go to that site and search on “caterpillar” to see if anything looks familiar.

    And, of course, beautiful E. scribonia. I love those caterpillars!

  3. #3 carolyn13
    October 27, 2007

    Thanks, Julie. I was very puzzled by those weird “antenna.” It looked like a cartoon caterpillar or a good model for a stuffed animal and I’m very curious about it.

  4. #4 Matt
    August 21, 2008

    is the catapillar in this picture poisonus?

  5. #5 cursorblock
    September 9, 2008

    From the link to the adult, looks like this species of hairy catepillar is not poisonous although many other bristly ones are.

  6. #6 celine
    November 3, 2008

    this goes to carolyn13 i think that what you saw was a wooly bear caterpillar, the link attached is helpful :D

  7. #8 Banana blake
    November 12, 2008

    what does this catapillar eat because I found one and me and my science teacher I trying to make it go into a cucoon

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