Imperial Moth Larvae?


@witchyfishyfun submitted:

He just wandered into where I work, I was wearing gloves when I handled him since I wasn’t sure whether or not he was venomous but I wanted to move him somewhere out of foot traffic.

I would love to help him stay safe but I don’t know what to feed him or what he needs.

This babe is a prepupal Imperial Moth caterpillar and needs a dark place to cuddle up in and pupate. He’s not going to eat anything at this point. They are typically a darker/brighter color, but when they are getting ready to pupate, they lose much of their fantastic color and texture. At this stage of their lives, the structures of the pupa are starting to develop inside of them, so they get kinda weird and sausage-y.

Imperial Moths are Saturniids like Io Moths and Polyphemus Moths, but unlike those species, they will burrow underground and pupate in the soil like Sphinx moths do. If you give this baby a nice cozy place to pupate, you can see him when he comes out as an adult:

November 8, 2018