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Picture of the Week
for 13 September 1999

Io caterpillar

This Io caterpillar (Automeris io) was identified by Jeff Burbrink, Elkhart County. It was found on an apple tree.

Io moth larvae are green with red and white stripes running the length of their bodies, which can be about two inches long. Notice the numerous spines that are very painful to the touch (described by some as a sting).

Although these larvae potentially will feed on the foliage of any tree or shrub, some of their favorites include apple, rose, and cherry. Damage is rarely severe.

For more information on these caterpillars and their adult form, also known as the Peacock moth, refer to the following website: http://www.cs.unl.edu/~scotth/samantha/moths-butterflies.html?page=io

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Last updated: 22 September 1999/tlm.