This week's Caterpillar of the Week: the Spiny Oak Slug caterpillar, Euclea delphinii.
I have only found a handful of these strange caterpillars in the wild, but the adult moth is relatively common at my moth lights. Placed in a plastic vial, female moths will quickly lay dozens of eggs and each year we get to raise bucketfuls of their prickly, venomous, technicolored caterpillars.
Slug caterpillars of a myriad of species are plentiful in the late summer and fall here in New England. They are unique in lacking any functional prolegs - locomoting by undulating their undersides in a wave like fashion.
Stay tuned this week for a series of original TCL videos relating to this fantastic native caterpillar.
- Sam Jaffe
Each week (or at least SOME weeks!) The Caterpillar Lab features a "Caterpillar of the Week." Each featured caterpillar is a species we've raised at our lab in Keene, NH. We hope you enjoy meeting the caterpillars of New England!