Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Hi I found this monster in my koi pond in Iowa. I thought he was dead, but I laid him gently out to dry. He’s still alive and crawling around. Can you tell me what it is? I have a couple of other pictures of it.
Donna Hansford

Hi Donna,
It is the time of the year for caterpillars that burrow in the ground to pupate to leave their trees and shrubs in search of a place to metamorphose. These large caterpillars have gone unnoticed as they were feeding, but many of or readers encounter them once they reach ground level. Your caterpillar is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar.

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