My previous Nature Knowledge post, from today, inspired me to look through my photos of caterpillars. I made another great find that I will probably keep next time that I encounter one. Above, is a Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar. This prickly fellow is not poisonous like the Hickory Tussock Moth caterpillar, although he looks formidable. In fact, Giant Leopard Moths feed on broad leaf plants, rather than, decimating trees. I had found this caterpillar at my camp doorstep in New York State. I’m sorry, now, that I did not identify it sooner. It must have been coming out from an eave where it had wintered.
What a lovely moth to behold! (Personally, I prefer moths to butterflies but they are nocturnal and are harder to find.) The photo specimen above, was an actual successful rearing of a caterpillar to adult.
Here’s another borrowed photo:
- It might look dangerous when it is a caterpillar but it is not poisonous and hence can be an easy pet for children.
- They get attracted to electric lights during the night, but some experts conclude that more than the females, the males can be seen doing so with the beginning of summer.
- Since they navigate effectively in moonlight, electric lights can baffle them, causing them to hover around them.
- The caterpillars can roll itself like a ball to mislead its predators, in which it exposes its spines and the orange segments lying between.
- These moths are often regarded helpful in controlling invasive plant species.
- On being alarmed, glands located in the thorax region can produce a stinking liquid to ward off predators.
My caterpillar photo was from last Spring. Hey, I’ve got some searching to do this weekend! The kids may enjoy raising one, almost as much as, I. 😉
- You Tricky Devil: Moth With Fake Spider Legs On Its Wings (geekologie.com)
- Pest caterpillars face helicopter blitz with insecticide (guardian.co.uk)
8 thoughts on “NATURE KNOWLEDGE: Giant Leopard Moth”
Pretty creatures 🙂
I agree! Thanks!
What a beautiful moth. How large do they get?
A wing span of about 3 inches.
Hello! I think I found one of this Moths in my balcony but I don’t know for sure… It also laid eggs on my window if you could please check this link and let me know if you could confirm it I’ll really appreciate it…
Sorry…I’ve been without a computer for awhile. YES! That is a Leopard moth! Thanks for your comment.
I found on of these and have been caring for it for a few weeks. I decided the other day that I should put it out so you gets use to the temperature changes now that it is starting to get cool out. The day after it looks to be dead. Do they always go on a branch when they go through the larva stage? It is not, it is on the bottom of the jar so I don’t know what to think. Please help.
This link may help you.