A lichen mimic

Catocala-ilia_caterpillar

I found this beautiful caterpillar crossing a path on Thursday. It’s the larva of the ilia underwing moth (Catocala ilia), and it would be well camouflaged on patches of lichen that sometimes decorate the bark of the oak trees on which it feeds. Supposedly, the caterpillars of C. ilia come in two color forms, this lichen-mimic form and a second form that is mottled brown to match the bark of oak trees. However, the only pictures I can find online are of the lichen mimic, probably because it looks cool.

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