Saturday, August 27

Back-post 9/27/10: cecropia moth caterpillar

While walking around after a picnic at Keystone State Park, I spotted this colorful caterpillar (who strikingly resembles the famous caterpillar in the children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar) in the gravel path. I had no idea what kind of winged creature this could become, but I used a stick to move him from the middle of the path to the wooded area nearby.

Because I am not an entomologist, I consulted my favorite entomologist and nature-loving friends to determine what kind of caterpillar I had fallen in love with.

Evidently, this is a cecropia caterpillar. My entomologist friend told me that they cecropias are the largest moth in North America and that this poor guy probably got dislodged from its host plant. I was also informed that I was quite lucky to spot this fella. It made me smile for like a week, knowing that I had seen a really rare natural sight.

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