Imperial Moth Caterpillar, ready to pupate

moth caterpillar
July 24, 2009
Hi-We think this is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar about ready to pupate. Hope you like the image and thanks for all the work you!
KICA maint.
Kiawah Island, SC

Imperial Moth Caterpillar, just prior to pupation
Imperial Moth Caterpillar, just prior to pupation

Dear KICA maint.,
Your identification is spot on.  This is the only image we have received of a now immobile Imperial Moth Caterpillar just before the molt that will lead to the pupa stage.  The outline is already suggesting the shape of the pupa.  Generally, before the caterpillar reaches this stage, it has already buried itself as the pupal stage is underground.  We are guessing that you either dug up this caterpillar, or that it was unable to bury itself before initiating the pupal molt.  Perhaps you even raised the caterpillar in a place that would not facilitate underground pupation.  Thanks for sending us this excellent image.  You can find more information on the Imperial Moth on BugGuide.

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