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The very humongous caterpillar

August 3, 2009

Near our front porch, on the ground beneath a hickory tree, I found this larval wonder:


the largest caterpillar I’ve ever seen, and which we later identified as a Hickory Horned Devil. It was nearly four inches long and about as big around as  Crayola washable marker, with a face like a Chinese New Year dragon mask.


It’ll overwinter underground, to reemerge as a Royal Walnut [behe]moth.

This Monday, it’s my big best shot.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2009 7:17 pm

    Goodness! I can’t believe you let that crawl on you. I think I would have been scared of a bite. It is quite a lovely creature, however. I love the little blue eyes staring up in amazement. Great shot!

  2. August 3, 2009 9:49 pm

    I’m with Amy Jo. Not a chance my very own hand would host that creepy crawler. But it IS beautiful, and the photography with which you captured him is top notch. So bravo on your best shot!!

  3. August 3, 2009 11:21 pm

    I’ve never seen anything like that. Very cool!

  4. August 3, 2009 11:39 pm

    That is so cool! I have never seen a caterpillar that big. I would have run and got my camera too. I don’t mind bugs except for slugs…I hate slugs.

  5. Ms. Knit-It-All permalink
    August 4, 2009 5:24 am

    That is just cool. Great images – especially those beautiful if worried eyes looking up at it! And I love that you let it crawl on you.

  6. August 4, 2009 11:53 am

    That thing looks AMAZING!!! It is so pretty!… Definitely some great pictures!!!

  7. August 5, 2009 11:36 pm

    Fantastic! I love the first photo with the blue eyes staring at it! I don’t know if I could have held it, though! I can do worms and wooly bears…but that’s about as brave as I get! =)

  8. August 6, 2009 12:55 pm

    I shared this so my sister and kid could see this. She called me this morning and said the kids thought is was amazing and now they want to go looking for “huge caterpillars” . They are really into wild life and nature so this was a treat for them.

  9. August 6, 2009 2:06 pm

    WOW! That is AMAZING! I definitely wouldn’t have gotten that close though – you are one brave woman!

  10. August 7, 2009 5:24 am

    that is really awesome! did you save it? wonder what it looks like later? is it a moth or butterfly?

  11. August 11, 2009 7:53 pm

    Incredible shot! And incredible creature! You take lovely photos.

  12. April 17, 2010 10:56 am

    Whew! I can’t imagine if that will crawl in my fingers. There are some who are afraid of house lizards…my husband for one. But this one, I think I can’t. Nice photo.

  13. August 9, 2010 8:05 pm

    Holy guacamole! That be a big critter! I ADORE that first picture, with the big blue eyes looking on in disbelief and wonder.

  14. emily evison permalink
    August 14, 2010 12:15 pm

    We just found one of our own in a NJ park, they are incredible and wonderful. Thanks for helping us ID our find!

  15. Robert Powell permalink
    September 8, 2010 11:02 pm

    Found one of those this morning. I was clueless as to what kind it was. Kept it all day in a pot for all to see. We let it go tonight next to a tree. To our surprise, it crawled away and burrowed into the ground.

    I was amazed by it’s size and weight. We named him Heimlich from Bug’s Life. Thanks for the post

    • scott permalink
      July 20, 2012 7:04 pm

      its a hickory horn devil catterpillar

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