Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar

What kind of caterpiller am I looking at here?
Hey Bugman,
I found this little fellow munching away on a Cottonwood leaf in my front yard in Indiana. I picked him up because he was very pretty… What is he? What will he be? How can I take care of him? Thanks,

Hi Mo,
This is a Spiny Oak Slug Caterpillar, Euclea delphinii. Despite its common name, according to BugGuide the: “larvae feed on leaves of apple, basswood, cherry, chestnut, maple, oak, redbud, sycamore, willow, and other broad-leaved woody plants”. Following our BugGuide link will show you photos of the adult as well as other color variations of the caterpillar. Caterpillars don’t require much more care than a constant supply of leaves from the food plant. You should exercise caution as this is a stinging caterpillar and you can read more about it on the Auburn University website.

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