Hickory Horned Devil or Royal (or Regal) Walnut Moth Caterpillar Photo
Hi – My 8-year-old twins found this caterpillar on the street in front of our house (Aug. 21, 2008, Virginia Beach, VA) – we’re not sure what happened to it… Initially we thought he’d been run over (his mouthparts seem a bit damaged and there was liquid surrounding him – and very tiny ants were attacking him) but he didn’t really appear squished. We brought him in, rinsed off the ants and read a bit about him (which suggests that perhaps he fell out of a tree preparing to pupate and fell a bit too hard?) – and filled a jar with soft soil and what I hope are walnut leaves. He’s got a broken horn or two, and I’m not sure if he’ll make it (not sure what damage he’s sustained), but he is still moving around a little. Hopefully he’ll make it (we were afraid to leave him outside because the ants find him too attractive). Thanks for your site – my family and I use it almost every day to identify all the cool bugs in our yard!
Your Hickory Horned Devil would also be an attractive snack for birds and other predators. There is no way of knowing what caused the trauma. We received three images of Hickory Horned Devils today, and expect to get many more in the next month.