Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar
Although this Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar (see note in description below) is currently only about 2 1/2 inches long, they can grow to about 5-6 inches in length. Host plants include hickory, sweetgum, black gum, ash, walnut, butternut, sycamore, sumac and persimmon. This particular caterpillar is located on a black gum tree on our property.
These caterpillars become darker and fiercer looking as they grow. They are the immature stage of the regal moth, one of the largest and most colorful moths in North America.
Explore Interestingness - Aug. 12, 2006: Highest Position: 67
Sorry for the previously incorrect title and description. Apparently this is a Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar. Like the Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar, they must like gum trees.