A friend sent me this photo and I must say that I’m jealous that I didn’t get to see this Regal Moth caterpillar in person! I look and look and look, and all I ever find are wooly worms or tent caterpillars.. nothing like this in all its bizarre evil horned cucumber glory!!
A common nickname for these things is the ”Hickory Horned Devil”. It’s a pretty fitting name being that Hickory is a common host plant for these.. the “Horned Devil” part is self explanatory. They go through 5 molts and the one pictured above appears to be in the 6th stage (instar).
You know the guys that glue all kinds of plastic add-ons and useless mufflers to their economy cars in an effort to make them appear more powerful than they are? Well, this is the caterpillar version of that. All those horns, spines, and flashy colors serve absolutely no purpose other than to threaten would-be predators. I guess it works well enough since evolution hasn’t phased it out…
Anyways, the adult moth form of this is really a sight to behold. A sight yet to be beheld by me. Giant and orange….all I can say. It’s really worth it to check it out..I won’t post bug pictures on here that are from other sources other than myself or friends and submissions so check out the Wikipedia link here.