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What kind of caterpillar is this? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janet Rohde   
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 1:17 PM

While picking chokecherries in the Caspian area, Patty Soderbloom grabbed onto something large, squishy and spiked. When she saw the large green caterpillar she gave out a yell. Maurice Beauchamp broke the branch the caterpillar was clinging so that photos could be taken. The extra large caterpillar will eventually turn into a large cecropia moth, North America’s largest native moth and a member of the giant silk moth family. The cecropia moth caterpillar feeds upon many common trees and shrubs. As they grow, larger small black hairs grow from tubercles (small projections) all over the body, which at early stages is yellow-green. As the larvae grow, the coloration becomes green to bluish-green, with the tubercles becoming blue, yellow or orange. Upon reaching maturity in autumn, the caterpillars, now 4 to 4-1/2 inches long, spin large cocoons on trees or wooden structures to emerge as adults in the first two weeks early summer. (Soderbloom photos)