Location: Wayne, PA
September 18, 2010 5:32 pm
My daughter found this in a wooded area and gave it to me, and I have no idea what type of caterpillar it is. I’m not sure what to feed it, or where to release it.
The first 2 pictures have a little more detail; the last picture shows the color a little more authentically. It’s kind of a greenish red. It’s big – about 3.5” long and about .75” ’tall’.
For some reason, we’ve been finding big caterpillars. First a tomato hornworm, then a hickory horned devil. Now this one, whatever it is.
This is the caterpillar of an Imperial Moth and we just finished posting another photograph of this species. Based on your individual’s coloration, we suspect it is getting ready to pupate. Imperial Moths pupate underground, so when the caterpillars are ready to metamorphose, they climb down from the trees where they have been feeding and they locate an area where they can dig underground. You probably don’t need to worry about feeding it because it is probably no longer interested in food. Release it on the ground in an area where the soil is not hard. We also just received a naked pupa of a Giant Silkworm Moth that might be an Imperial Moth, and we will post that letter next.
Thank you so much for the information. I released it near where it was found.