Polyphemus Caterpillar

Big, Bright Green Caterpillar in Northern New Jersey
July 10, 2010
While hiking at Norving Green Park we found a nearly thumb-sized caterpillar on the ground (not sure if it’s health was good–seemed sluggish and when we moved it of the trail it made noticable clicking noises). Bright green, almost plastic-like flourescent, had few hairs sticking from small yellow dots, body segments mid line marked by a thin white/yellow line with small veritical ovals of white with reddish center. Horizontal eyespots(?) at tail area –perhaps raised? Segments very pronounced–Michelin Tireman-esque with pronounced angularity. Caterpillar was gripping onto moss like clot(perhaps about to metamorphose?) and may have been knocked from a tree by a bird.
My daughter and I are curious to find out what it may be–some sort so sphinx moth larva? Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks.
Tim W.
Northern New Jersey

Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar

Hi Tim,
According to BugGuide, the “
oblique yellow lines running through spiracles on abdomen” identify this as a Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar, Antheraea polyphemus.

Thanks so much–after looking at pics online, it definetley does look like a polyphemus.

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