Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Subject:  Slug caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Kentucky
Date: 09/20/2021
Time: 12:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I can find several similar slug caterpillars, but none this long that look so much like lichen! Do you know what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Sky

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Sky,
This is not a Stinging Slug Caterpillar.  We believe it is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, possibly the American Lappet Moth which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillars feed on leaves of alder, birch, oak, poplar, willow, snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus), chinquapin (Chrysolepis chrysophylla), and members of the rose family; larvae rest longitudinally along a twig during the day, and feed at night.”

Thanks for getting back so quick! I hate to question the experts,but are you sure? Because the lappet moth pics look fairly round, although the coloring sure  is similar in some! and you can see feet if you look closely thru the hairs, this thing is weirdly flat and kinda ‘suctioned’ on to the 2by 4

Do you have an image that shows the entire caterpillar?  Your image is cropped and we cannot tell how much of the caterpillar’s body was outside of the edge of the frame.  We do not understand your statement “Because the lappet moth pics look fairly round.”  This image from BugGuide illustrates a Lappet Moth caterpillar at least six times longer than it is wide, and that is not “round”.


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