Imperial Moth Caterpillar

What’s my bug (caterpillar)
Hello you intelligent bug lovers!
On behalf of Yulee Elementary School in Yulee, FL, thanks for making this informative and colorful site. One of my co-workers has asked me to identify this species. She has it co-inhabiting a jar w/ oleander larvae. I have looked at all the submitted photos but still can’t decide what this is. Can you help? If you respond you’ll be informing almost 900 3rd-5th graders and their teachers. You may inspire a new generation of bug lovers. ps any hints on how we can feed it would also be appreciated.
Mary Austin-Harris,
Yulee, Florida

Hi Mary,
There was no way we were going to pass up the opportunity to educate almost 900 elementary school students and their teachers. This is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar, Eacles imperialis. According to BugGuide, they: “feed on leaves of Bald Cypress, basswood, birch, cedar, elm, hickory, Honeylocust, maple, oak, pine, Sassafras (Sassafras albidum ), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), sycamore, walnut. “

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