I should probably add this baby to a gallery for my orchids and gardening website, but for now, I’ll just post it here. We found this hickory horned devil at the base of our huge ash tree. It’s stage 5-instar, so it was probably looking to burrow into the ground to pupate for the winter. Yes, we put it back where we found it, after I took its picture.
That caterpillar makes my middle finger look shrimpy. Supposedly, the Regal Moth has a wingspan of 4-6″, which is about what I’m used to seeing with the bats that come out to feed shortly after dusk. Not the best picture, given that I took it indoors with flash. It’s a pretty fierce looking thing with a body that’s pastel blue-green, and a bunch of horns, but they’re harmless. The ash can easily withstand having a branch or two defoliated.