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Science & NatureAn 'alien' visitor in Calabogie

An ‘alien’ visitor in Calabogie

Nadine shares this interesting find:

I wanted to share this amazing picture of this caterpillar I found in Calabogie this week. You can imagine my surprise when I came across this odd and curious-looking fellow while looking for an apple to pull off a tree. I had let out such a yell that my boyfriend thought I saw a bear ( we had just come across some bear scat on our walk close by).  The caterpillar is almost 5 inches long with an assortment of spikes and knobs with blue suckers on its feet all looking like some crazy Halloween costume. We could actually hear it chewing the leaf.

With the help of Google it turns out that this beautiful alien is a Cecropia Moth and is North America’s largest native moth. It is a member of the giant silk moths. There are so few of them around that they do not pose a threat to the tree they are enjoying munching on so loudly. The adult moths have wingspans of 5 to 7 inches and are brown and reddish in colour, a bit boring considering the colourful caterpillar stage. They will only live for 2 weeks after emerging from their cocoons spending their time looking for a mate. They do not possess a mouth.

 

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