My son found this sweetie on walkabout in the garden early in the
morning on 29June 05. I'd only had one other like it before, and never
got to see it's cocoon because I sent it (and an endless supply of
marigold for it to eat) to school with my kids and they raised it in the
classroom. When they brought it home it was all ready a moth. We raised
this 2nd one at home.
I finally got it to walk the ruler for a picture! It was much more
interested in exploring my desk than being measured once it uncurled
from that "don't eat me" pose.
The coolest thing about these caterpillars
is the red color you see when
you look at them close up:
Our 2nd Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar was eating this blue flowered weed,
Commelina diffusa (Dayflower)
, so I fed it more
until it made a cocoon.
When I weed my garden now, I leave some Dayflower in case another
Leopard Moth chooses to lay an egg on it.
confirmed my ID on this Giant Leopard Moth, and told me
its scientific name: Hypercompe scribonia. Thanks Bob!