Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fat, Horned Caterpillar

(Picture above is of "our" caterpillar - the right side is his face, and the left side has the horn. I actually thought the horn was on his face until he started crawling!)

This morning, when Alexandra came downstairs, she asked why our dog was outside barking. I really hadn't noticed, so we went outside to check it out. Well, she was barking at something in the grass, so I thought we'd cautiously check it out.

I saw this very plump, brown thing that looked like a tail to something. I was a little nervous, but I picked up a large piece of bark (I couldn't find a stick), and touched it. It turns out the "tail" was an entire body - of a big, fat caterpillar!

I was still afraid to touch it as it had this large "horn." I was calling it a unicorn caterpillar. I finally got brave enough to pick it up and it whipped around like it was trying to sting me. I was still a little afraid, so we got a bug box to put him in.

I tried to find a picture of him on the internet, and so far I've only discovered that he is a "horned" caterpillar. I did find the email of a man that I'm going to contact and ask for help.

We took him back outside to photograph. I really thought he was almost dead as he only moved when I grabbed him, but eventually found out that he must have been "playing dead." I'm sure both my daugther and I and our dog gave him quite a scare. He finally started crawling around.

He is brown on top and about 2 inches long. I took a ruler with me, but he was usually curled up, and when he finally stretched out, I forgot to measure him. I did measure his horn to be 1 cm. He's brown on the top with some spots, and green on his underside.

I just love all of the neat things we are finding... right in our own backyard!


Savannah said...

Did you ever discover what type of caterpillar this was? We just found one in our own backyard and can't identify it!

Dana Leeds said...

Sorry, Savannah. That was as close to an identification as we came. Please let me know if you get a more complete identification!

Unknown said...

I just found one on our porch! I believe it's the caterpillar of the waved sphinx moth, after some crazy google-ing

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