This caterpillar was seen crawling through the grass and stretched out reached about four inches in length. Do you know what it will become? Burlington Free Press
We’re not the only beings who have been hiding out. The warmer weather is coaxing out the mysterious, crawly creatures.
This caterpillar was seen crawling through the grass in Williston on May 17. It was spotted from a distance because it’s body, when stretched out, reached about four inches long.
Do you recognize this long, spiny caterpillar with red banding? A search on the site Owlcation confirmed it to be the caterpillar of a Giant Leopard Moth.
According to the site, these caterpillars don’t sting, but their spines are sharp. It will roll itself into a ball when threatened so anything trying to eat it will get a mouth full of spines. It overwinters as an adult caterpillar and in the spring spins its cocoon. In summer, it will emerge transformed into a black and white spotted moth with some blue, iridescent markings at the front portion of its body.
It likes to eat dandelions, which may be why it was seen next to an area covered with the yellow flowers.
Here is a visual guide to other common caterpillars, butterflies and moths found in Vermont. Scroll down to see the images.
Perhaps you can identify something that has crossed your path.
Contact April Barton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-660-1854. Follow her on Twitter @aprildbarton.
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