Subject:  Caterpillars id
Geographic location of the bug:  Midwest usa
Date: 10/02/2021
Time: 05:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve never seen a caterpillar this big in my life. Is it a danger to my clothing, garden, cats or dogs that may get hold of it? What kind is it?
How you want your letter signed:  stephanie

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Dear Stephanie,
The midwest is a big place.  More location specificity is always desirable.  This is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar and it will not harm your clothing or your cats or dogs.  Imperial Moth caterpillars are not too particular about the leaves they feed upon and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of Bald Cypress, basswood, birch, cedar, elm, hickory, Honeylocust, maple, oak, pine, Sassafras (
Sassafras albidum), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), sycamore, walnut.”  They do not feed enough to cause a tree damage unless it is a very young tree.

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