Imperial Moth and Caterpillar

imperial moth

Recently I told you about our experience with gypsy moths. After that batch of destructive caterpillars made their presence known on our cottage lot, we discovered another caterpillar, this one quite striking. It was huge, over three inches in length and one-half an inch in diameter. It was bright green in colour, with white spots and bristles. Google claims this caterpillar belongs to the Imperial Moth, and Wikipedia claims it is not found much further north than the New England states. That explains why we have never seen one before.

I guess this handsome guy wandered a little too far north.

I have been teaching my grandchildren the wonders of nature. I have no doubt my three-year-old grandson would love this colourful caterpillar; my granddaughters not so much. It has been much more difficult to convince the girls that (some) bugs are beautiful and beneficial.

We will have to keep our eyes out for the Imperial Moth that this caterpillar will morph into next spring. It should be easy to spot as they can reach up to an impressive five and a half inches in size. Yikes! Mother Nature has provided them with clever camouflage though; they like a yellow and brown poplar leaf.

imperial moth

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