Subject: Wierd looking bug appearedin my backyard
Time: 01:49 AM EDT
Geographic location of the bug: Australia, Victoria
Your letter to the bugman: Hi! The other day this weird bug was eating my flowers so I carefully picked it up and put it on the sidewalk. Can you please try to figure out what it is?
How you want your letter signed: Thanks, from TheBugQueen
Had you sent this email today, we would have thought for sure that you were pranking us on April Fool’s Day, but you sent this identification request in over a week and a half ago. This is a Hickory Horned Devil, the caterpillar of the Royal Walnut Moth, but it is not native to Australia. This species is native to eastern North America. We have no idea how it got to Australia. Perhaps there is a Saturniid fancier in your neighborhood who raised specimens and some escaped. To the best of our knowledge, there are no known populations of Citheronia regalis naturalized in Australia. We are tagging this as a mystery.