September 23, 2009
Was walking with the 2 year old in the swamp park in Southern Illinois today and found a strange looking caterpillar. Some research has it as a Schizura unicornis (I think…do they eat oak?).
The camouflage was strikingly good from some angles, the green “window” in its mid-section is exactly as translucent as leaves with the sun behind them.
Thought you might like some pictures.
Bert in Illinois
BugGuide lists the food plants of the Unicorn Caterpillar as: “alder, apple, Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides), White Birch (Betula papyrifera), elm, hawthorn, hickory, willow“, while the closely related and similar looking Morning Glory Prominent or False Unicorn Caterpillar has its food plants listed as: “leaves of beech, birch, elm, maple, morning-glory, oak, rose, and other woody plants” on BugGuide. We would entertain the possibility that the list of plants for the Unicorn Caterpillar might be incomplete, and that your caterpillar might be either species.