Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crazy Caterpillar Critter

Yesterday, when I was taking out the trash, I noticed this prickly looking critter making it's way through the garage. Anything I cannot identify immediately is termed "critter".

See his red bands underneath all the black?
Of course as I stooped to take it's picture, it got defensive and curled up into a ball. I was worried this was one of those "stinging" caterpillars that I 've witnessed first hand sting my god daughter at the zoo a couple of years ago, causing severe pain and crying.... you would have thought someone cut her finger off, not that she got stung by a caterpillar. Of course I explained it to my Dad whom also thought it was a stinging caterpillar by the description. But then I googled "black caterpillar" and actually found out this is a Giant Leopard Moth, Hypercompe scribonia (formerly Ecpantheria scribonia), a non-poisonous species that are okay to handle because they are not toxic. Well at the time, I did not know this so I scooped him up with a piece of paper and took him far away from my house (and no I did not kill him). Well several hours later I walked outside to what I believe was the same caterpillar... for some reason, he took a liking to my beautiful yard.

He can stay, as long as he doesn't eat my flowers.

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