Caterpillar identification in Georgia
Location: Jackson, Georgia
April 8, 2011 9:01 am
Hi there, love your site!
I live in central Georgia, about midway between Atlanta and Macon. This little fella has been making his way across my deck for the past several days, and I’m fascinated (and becoming somewhat attached to it, I admit). I’ve searched your site pretty thoroughly, and can’t find anything resembling it. He’s very ”scaly” in appearance, about 2.5” long, and he moves so imperceptibly/slowly that I can’t really tell if you’d consider him an spanworm or not. Picture was taken by me this morning, April 8, 2011. Thanks so much!
We believe this is the caterpillar of one of the Underwing Moths in the genus Catocala. Both the caterpillar and adult are masters of camouflage. The Caterpillars often resemble bark or lichens, and the adults have forewings that blend in with tree bark, but brightly colored underwings that show when the moth takes flight. A predator will try to find the brightly colored flying insect that blends into the bark when it comes to rest. We believe your specimen most closely resembles Catocala ilia which is pictured on BugGuide.