Subject: Is This Thing from Narnia
Location: Raleigh, NC
August 31, 2013 8:42 am
We found this bug just crawling around near our house in the grass. It looks like it could be some type of catepillar but it’s HUGE. Help?!
Signature: Freaked Out Dude
Dear Freaked Out Dude,
Your photo of a Hickory Horned Devil is awesome. This is the largest caterpillar in North America. It feeds on the leaves of hickory, walnut and several other native trees. The caterpillars are rarely noticed until late in the summer when they leave the trees they are feeding upon and find a suitable place on the ground to dig and pupate. In the spring, they emerge as adult Royal Walnut Moths. Some of our readers have compared Hickory Horned Devils to colorful Chinese dragons. They are perfectly harmless, despite the fearsome appearance.