Cecropia Moth Caterpillar of the Narragansett Shore. Photography & Text by Keith R Wahl

August 14, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

An unexpected find

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 01 20230813 850_4384_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 01A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens.

I was recently asked by a docent if I was primarily a nature shooter with regard to photography. After some thought, the proper reply should have been, "I am a open-minded, curious, shooter of rich environments." This became apparent yesterday when my wife and sons were standing in an area near the water saying, "Get over here! Look at this!" I went from looking at boats and the water to exploring a big green caterpillar in an instant. Here I was faced with something surprising and interesting that was worthy of exploring, even if it wasn't the subject I started with. 

The Cecropia Moth Caterpillar (Hyalaphora cecropia) as photographed is a large, brightly colorful caterpillar that is native to North America. It will transform into the largest moth in North America, with a wingspan of up to 10 inches. The caterpillar is green with yellow and blue stripes and has two large horns on its head. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens.

The Cecropia Moth Caterpillar is a voracious eater, and its diet consists of leaves from a variety of trees, including maple, oak, and birch. It can defoliate a tree in a short amount of time. The caterpillar pupates in a silk cocoon, and the adult moth emerges in the summer.

This Cecropia Moth Caterpillar was found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. It is a common insect in the area and can be found in wooded areas and gardens (in this case, a garden area near the shore). The best time to see the caterpillars is in the spring, when they are most active, but in this case, we found it in mid-August. 

Here are some tips for finding Cecropia Moth Caterpillars in Narragansett, Rhode Island:

  • Look for caterpillars on trees that are known to be hosts for the Cecropia Moth, such as maple, oak, and birch.
  • Look for caterpillars in wooded areas and gardens.
  • Look for caterpillars during the spring, when they are most active.
  • Be careful not to touch the caterpillars, as they can be poisonous.

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 01 20230813 850_4384_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 01A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 02 20230813 850_4386_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 02A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 04 20230813 850_4389_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 04A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 05 20230813 850_4390_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 05A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 03 20230813 850_4388_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 03A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 07 20230813 850_4392_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 07A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 06 20230813 850_4391_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 06A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 08 20230813 850_4393_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 08A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 09 20230813 850_4394_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 09A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 10 20230813 850_4395_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 10A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 11 20230813 850_4396_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 11A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens. Cecropia Moth Caterpillar 12 20230813 850_4397_displayCecropia Moth Caterpillar 12A Cecropia Moth Caterpillar found in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This large, colorful caterpillar is native to North America and is the largest moth in the continent. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, woodlands, and gardens.

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© Keith R Wahl, Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Keith R Wahl and Made From RI/Made From RI Gallery with appropriate and specific direction to the original. 

 

 


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