Enjoy this amazing beauty that was found in my front yard today under a Sweet Gum tree. It is an Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) caterpillar, and was 3.25 inches long. (I have also included a photo of what the moth of this caterpillar looks like.)
This critter is from the Giant Silk Moth family, and is the first caterpillar of this moth that I have ever seen in my life! I am so blessed to have seen such a rare beauty!
About one month ago, while clearing away some of the dead flowers in the flower bed from last year, we located a silk moth cocoon. We brought it indoors, and I have kept it in a warm, dry place on a shelf with some cards and knick-knacks since then.
Today (July 5, 2015), a beautiful male Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) emerged from the cocoon. This evening, my son and I let it go in the woods near our home. He was quite a beauty to behold, and we are so happy to have been able to observe and enjoy him!