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Io Moth Caterpillar

On this morning’s walk with Rocky, we came across the Io moth caterpillar (Automeris io) feeding on live oak leaves.  I’ve never seen them on oak trees but I suppose it is not uncommon.  This was a pretty large cluster of around 12 to 15 caterpillars.  Unfortunately, all I had was my cell phone to take the photo so the quality isn’t too good.  These are stinging caterpillars with urticating spines.  The moth is quite beautiful and I’ve even hatched some out of cocoons. 

Fortunately, I haven’t come in contact with their spines (at least knowingly) but I have had the experience with the saddleback caterpillar and that was no fun. 

© Fred Searcy 2017