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The Basics:

  • Does it sting? No. It looks threatening, but his caterpillar is harmless. 

  • What does it eat? Oaks, poplars, maples, and many other trees

  • Will it seriously damage plants or trees? No

  • Is it rare? Generally scarce, but can be common at times

  • What does it turn into? A huge moth that looks like dead leaves

  • Can you raise it to an adult? Yes. If you find one crawling on the ground, you can put in Tupperware with a folded paper towel on the bottom and it will pupate.

Imperial Moth

This very large caterpillar is either green or brown, depending on the color form. It's most often seen crawling on the ground in late summer, when it leaves food plants and goes in search of a good spot to burrow underground and form a pupa. This species is related to giant silk moths but is in a separate subfamily (Ceratocampinae) that does not spin cocoons. The adult moths can be absolutely huge and come in a variety of shades of yellow, brown, and burgundy. They look very much like fallen leaves and, despite their size, can be very hard to see due to this camouflage.

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Eacles imperialis

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