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Giant Leopard Caterpillar

I saw this caterpillar inching its way on a brick and got intrigued by its bristly appearance. He (assuming that the caterpillar was male) probably noticed that I was taking pictures of him cause he curled up in a ball, sort of like a defense mechanism. As he did, I noticed some red bands on his body.

The caterpillar curled up in a ball

After some quick research, I found out that it was the caterpillar of a Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia). And giant it was indeed - it was as long and thick as my forefinger, and the adult moth has a wingspan of 3 inches! That is about 3 times the size of a regular moth.

Photo Credits:

These beautiful creatures are nocturnal
, so I might not get to see it develop into a moth. But who knows? I might just catch a glimpse if I happen to wander in the garden at night. :-)


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