The Wooly Booger Shoot

Today, a Hypercompe Scribonia Caterpillar (who will grow into a Giant Leopard Moth someday)  arrived on my sidewalk — ready for his photo shoot.

I quickly learned that he really doesn’t have big shiny bug eyes.  What I thought were eyes are ‘lobes‘, and his eyes are on the lower front edge of each one. He’s got  several eyes on each side.


He doesn’t have a nose, either.  Instead, he has 18 nostrils along his body.  Only they’re not called ‘nostrils’, they’re called spiracles’.  Anyway, that’s  where he breathes.






There’s another spiracle — up in the right corner of the picture. It’s on his ‘4th abdominal segment’.  In people, an abdomen is also called a ‘belly’.  Caterpillars sort of have 10 bellies, but they’re called ‘abdominal segments‘.





We discussed his legs. He has a whole lot more of them than you and I do, even more that a dog or a cow!  But not all of this caterpillar’s legs are ‘true legs‘. There are 6 of those. They’re up front near his head.  Besides being on his front end, you can tell they’re true legs because they each end in a claw.

Those other legs are called ‘prolegs‘.  They end in a bunch of tiny hooks called ‘crochets‘.

He has no arms, but it’s ok because all the legs kind of make up for that.

SO … on with the Photo Shoot.

The first order of business was to see just how big this guy really was.  An impressive 6 centimeters!  Wow!  A very big caterpillar!  (Just for fun, he also stretched out on a brick.  He was as long as the space between 2 holes.)


He played around on the brick for awhile, but when he decided to go INTO a hole …



** When something is stuck on its back and can’t right itself, we say that it is ‘Turtled’.  If something is stuck head-first in a hole, is it ‘Pillared’? **

From there, things just got silly.




He said he was a ‘Hip Cat’, and pretended to be wearing shades …




… wiggled his prolegs in the dahlia pot …


… and relaxed in the rose of  sharon.








After ascending the gargoyle (of which he wasn’t a bit frightened despite its Massive size and Fearsome expression) …








… he slid down it’s wing!  (Can you BELIEVE that?)


Well, about the time I was convinced that things couldn’t get ANY MORE out-of-control,


(By the way, did you know that caterpillar dung is called ‘scat‘?