The hickory horned devil in these photos measured around six inches in length. They are also food for a variety of bird and snake species, and play an important role in the ecosystem. Hickory horned devils live in deciduous forests in the eastern United States, from Missouri to Massachusetts and south from Texas to central Florida. by Sheila Dunning | Jul 16, 2020 | Curiosities, Environmental Education, Native plants, Trees, Credits: Clemson University, www.insectimages.org. The adult forms do not eat, but simply mate and lay eggs. The regal moth has a wingspan up to 5.5 inches. They are often seen feeding on the leaves of deciduous forest trees, such as hickory, pecan, sweetgum, sumac and persimmon. Copyright © 2018 Three Rivers Land Trust | 204 East Innes Street, Suite 280 Salisbury, NC 28144 | Phone: 704-647-0302. The hickory horned devil is a blue-green colored caterpillar, about the size of a large hot dog, covered in long black thorns. Their dragon-like appearance is just meant to scare off any would-be predators. Tag: hickory horned devil. Thank you for the article. They have two pairs of yellow to orange curved horns just behind the head and paired rows of spines down the back. The pupa will overwinter until next May to early-June, at which time, they completely metamorphosize into a regal moth (Citheronia regalis). S-225 Agricultural Science Center North, Lexington, KY 40546-0091 | 859.257.7450 Regal Moth caterpillars are able to feed on the foliage of a fairly wide variety of trees and shrubs. They pollinate our flowers, eat our pests, convert our compost to fertilizer, or munch fungus off our grape leaves. Floral Associates. The bizarre critter was a 5.5-inch-long hickory horned devil caterpillar, nearly as fat and plump as a hot dog. Hickory horned devils are impressive pea green to blue green caterpillars that are 4 to 5 inches long when full grown. by Three Rivers Land Trust | Dec 20, 2016. They attach their eggs to the larva, and then they hatch and consume the pupa. However, it’s one thing to appreciate all the good invertebrates do in our yards, it’s another to truly enjoy their company. Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Bugs. As many as six species of tachinid flies, one species of sarcophagid fly, and and one species of braconid wasp are known to parasitize hickory horned devils. The Hickory Horned Devil Caterpillar. The adult has yellow-spotted, olive-gray forewings with red veins and reddish-orange hindwings with yellow markings. Females release pheromones, which can attract a male from up to a mile away. They are also food for a variety of bird and snake species, and play an important role in the ecosystem. However, when they are disturbed they can throw their bodies back and forth in a ferocious display creating a buzzing sound meant to be a warning, but they have no toxicity. They are more common in the Deep South, and become less common as you go northward. Adult moths do not feed. During a visit to the Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge a few years ago with the Greater Uwharrie Conservation Partnership, we spotted a unique critter – the hickory horned devil. var year = today.getFullYear() The hickory horned devil is a blue-green colored caterpillar, about the size of a large hot dog, covered in long black thorns. The hickory horned devil (Citheronia regalis) is one species, but it is no threat to plants and therefore requires no control. Unlike most caterpillars that spin cocoons, the hickory horned devil … The adult moth is the largest moth by mass north of Mexico, but not by size, that goes to the Cecropia moth. Though they look pretty ominous, they are actually harmless. I took the image that is displayed at the top of your article. In spring the adult regal moth, also known as royal walnut moth, emerges. Hickory horned devils are known to eat voraciously, particularly right before they pupate, but they are not so ravenous as to pose any real threat to their host trees. var today = new Date() While the hickory horned devil is fierce-looking, they are completely harmless. document.write(year) And, even though a hickory horned devil caterpillar will eat the leaves of shade trees, usually the damage is minimal because their numbers are small.

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