huge green cattepillar
Location: Hazyview, Mpumalanga, South Africa
January 19, 2011 8:22 am
I found this green catterpillar on a tree on our farm in Hazyview South Africa. I only found this one. It was about 10cm long and easily 1.5cm in diameter. It had yellow spikes along its body with a few blue spikes on its head. It looks very similar (except for the colours) to like a catterpilar of some kind of emperor moth? do you have a clue?
This was one of the quickest identifications we have ever made of an unknown species that was emailed to us. We immediately recognized your caterpillar as a member of the family Saturniidae, the Giant Silkmoths, and we tried the World’s Largest Saturniidae website that we have a membership to. Going to South African species, the first try struck the jackpot with Epiphora mythimnia, but since we cannot link to the World’s Largest Saturniidae website, we needed to find corroboration elsewhere. WLSS states: “The White-ringed Atlas, Epiphora mythimnia (wingspan: 105-130mm), is one of the few Attacini in Southern Africa. It flies in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.” There is a photo of the caterpillar and the moth on the Lepidoptera Breeders Association website. The adult moth is pictured on the African Moths website and we have an example in our archives as well.
Thank you very much for your quick response. I have seen the moths around twice only. They are beautiful you must admit!