Have you ever seen anything like it? This is called a Hickory Horned Devil and is the largest caterpillar in the US and Canada. I witnessed this specimen today. Prior to that, I had never seen one nor had I ever imagined that a bug this big could be found outside of a jungle some foreign country like Brazil, Thailand, or Florida.
Here is a picture alongside a scale model of my foot. That should give you some sense of how huge it was.
When I saw the seven inch bug crawling across the yard at the farm, I started counting cats and chickens to make sure everybody was ok. The chickens will eat just about anything including mice. Not this beastie, they looked at it and then steered clear.
Here is a video of the critter in action:
Evidently they turn into a gorgeous (and also huge) insect called a regal moth (Citheronia regalis). If you want to see what the moth looks like, check out this link. Is that not a pretty moth or what?
I have decided that since I have never seen one before, they must be endangered and I am going to take steps to protect them. If you would like to help protect the Hickory Horned Devil, send a check for $100 to Tim McMurdo in care of this website. Every dollar that you send goes into my pocket and will be used to make my yard a pretty place for pretty moths to live.
Remember, a ginormous bug is a terrible thing to waste.