Hypercompe scribonia – Giant Leopard Moth

9/25/2011   I found this caterpillar crawling on the ground – Buffalo County, Wisconsin


9/26/2011  I kept it in a container with willow leaves to eat.


Late in the fall, when it had stopped eating (and all the willow leaves were gone), and the weather was cold, I put the caterpillar in a plastic container with some wood chips.  I put the plastic container in a clay flowerpot, sunk up to its rim in the ground, and covered with a clay saucer with a rock on top to keep animals out.  I left it there for the winter.  When I took the container out at the end of March, 2012, the caterpillar was crawling around inside.  I put it back into a jar, with the wood chips, and a sprig of willow.

5/3/2012   Caterpillar and wood chips


5/3/2012   Willow with feeding damage from the caterpillar


5/23/2012   I noticed that the caterpillar had pupated.  I think it had actually happened earlier, but I hadn’t realized because the caterpillar had shed its whole skin.  I wasn’t looking very closely, and I thought the skin was the live caterpillar.


5/23/2012   Another view of the pupa


5/23/2012   Shed skin


5/23/3012   Shed skin


6/11/2012    Adult hatched


6/11/2012    Adult


6/11/2012    I released the adult


Marcie O’Connor
Buffalo County, Wisconsin