Subject: What is this creature?
Location: New York
May 30, 2015 9:04 pm
This rather creepy looking caterpillar looking thing was crawling up my boyfriends back while we were sitting outside at 12 am in the morning. It appears to have pinchers on its back end(I think that’s its back end) and seriously moved around when poked with a stick. As though it was trying to get you with said pinchers. The underneath looked like a mixture of hole like suckers with red in them. Only way I can describe it is blood. It’s about 3ish inches long.
Signature: Creeped Out Girlfriend
Dear Creeped Out Girlfriend,
We believe this is the Caterpillar of an Underwing Moth from the genus Catocala. We wish you had provided an image of the ” underneath looked like a mixture of hole like suckers with red in them.” Did it look like this image from The Backyard Arthropod Project? We just posted an image of our own native, adult Walnut Underwing from Southern California, but our image doesn’t show the beautiful, brightly colored underwings that give the Underwing its name.
I wasn’t sure how to reply to this, so hopefully you’ll get this message, but that’s exactly what it is. Thank you so much!