137 thoughts on “Big Green Caterpillar

  1. Did you ever discover what type of caterpillar this was? Today, we discovered the exact same type, near our home, and cannot find a suitable match in any online references.



  2. We have found 2 of them and we brought them in and they have formed cacoons. We want to watch and learn, then release!

    Norwalk, OH

  3. We found one today in St Francis, MN. I’ve never seen anything like it! Is there a particular reason we’re seeing them?

  4. We just found one in St. Cloud MN. Showed it to the roommates and no one has ever seen a caterpillar so big. What is it going to turn into? Are they actually from the area?

  5. We were shocked to find such an interesting find in Massillon, Ohio. We picked him up and put him in a jar for the kids to look at planning to release him when they went to bed. When we picked up the jar filled with leaves and bark, we discovered our new friend spinning a cocoon! Guess he likes it there. We’ll just wait and see what happens next. To be continued…

  6. These are lunar moths. They are very beautiful (according to another moth) when in their flying mode. We found one after our storms in Foley.

  7. Found one in an Oak tree in Sodus, NY (upstate). It was huge! the length of my middle finger and as thick as 2 fingers.

  8. I Googled in “Big Green Caterpillar” to see if we could identify what our cat brought to the door last night…just like she does with mice! They are huge! We found several of them crawling on our Engleman ivy plant on the side of our house…about a half dozen that we can see. They are munching the leaves like crazy and destroying our vine. We’re not sure what to do about them! Very interesting to hear of other “sightings” on this website. We’re in Valley City, ND, by the way.

  9. I found one crawling up my farm house, I am sure it isnt the same as a luna moth as there are fine hairs coming out of the yellow/orange dots along side of it, plus it has thin white lines along int underside pus tiny red 1mil lines beside those.. hard to explain. it also has a purple line on each side of its rear…
    brown head with lil brownish feet.

  10. found one in wilmington, illinois while i was at the beach in lake will. the thing was fatter than my fingers. never seen anything like it so i was eager to show it off….then i hid it in some bush far from the beach…..what a great find that day!!!

  11. I have lived in the country my whole life and never seen something like this. I live in Bluffton, IN. Unfortually my dog stepped on it so I don’t think it will make it. That is really too bad because it was really amazing.

  12. Just found one in Bloomington, IL! This is now one of the first Google image results for “large green caterpillar”, BTW!

  13. We just found one on our patio table.
    We could not believe how big it is!

    By the way we found it in Golden Valley, mn :)

  14. I found one in the driveway this a.m. under an oak tree. I rescued it from the asphalt crew and put it in the nearby weeds. Westmoreland Co., PA.


  15. We have one here too!! (central Indiana) I think it’s an Antheraea Polyphemus? Ours is apparently resting during its 4th instar — we thought it was dying — but after two days now, it seems to be stirring much more! Kewl…. we’ve been raising Monarchs for about nine years, so this is a BIG change… lol…. invade away! ;-)

  16. Found one today in Riverdale GA..15 minutes South of Atlanta. My 7 year old son thought it was AMAZING! I myself have never seen one like that! Took pics and a video of it on my phone…

  17. Found 4 of the devouring a plant outside my front door in Nashville Tn, don’t know what the plant is called or even what the worms are but i do know this I used to keep silk wormsbin South Africa and the were just as soft and fascinating as these little critters are but they are not as pretty as these with there luminous green skin with bright blue circles along either side and that crazy stinger looking protrusion on it’s back they are absolutely beautiful! Wonder If I can keep them like silk worms?????

  18. We found one under an oak tree this afternoon. I’ve seen the moth that it turns into earlier this summer. I’m guessing this is the big green caterpillar research and tracking site. We’ve got it in a box with some oak branches hoping we will watch it turn. Jonesboro, AR

  19. My son and I found one outside of our apartment in Fort Wayne, IN. We put it in a bug holder with two leaves and the next morning it was in a partially made cocoon. My son is so excited about it.. can we keep it to watch it change? Or does it need specific climate that might not be indoors.

  20. I found one of these earlier today on my carpet, must have come in with the dog. Anyway i got a big jug, then kids got some maple leaves and we cut holes for air. It has been less then 3 hours and it has already started its cocoon. It is so amazing. We are taking it to my kids preschool class tomorrow so they can enjoy the experience. Thanks for all the info. We are in St. Louis, MO

  21. Just found one today in Hoschton, GA. We put it in our empty aquarium with leaves and sticks. It has already started to make a cocoon. it is REALLY cool!

  22. My daughter brought one home from school about a week ago. I put it out on a tree branch and the next morning it had already made a cocoon wrapped in leaves. I want to bring it in the house and keep it in a jar, but don’t want to mess up it’s natural cycle. Any advice on this??

  23. I found two and they are strange. My first one made a cocoon the very first night, but it never came out, and it sat there for a year. The second one died because I put (accidentally) a fresh green tomatow in it. It died and rotted, as well as the tomatow.

  24. Found One Big green caterpillar in the park. It had pink and purple spots! :D
    At the moment its in a cocoon!!

  25. just found two of them next to my swan plants. should i kill them? will they eat my other caterpillars?

  26. Just found one in Connellsville, PA (near Pittsburgh) crawling around in my flower garden. At first it scared me because it was so big. But I contacted a friend who knows all about bugs and she told me what it was (Luna moth) and said it will be beautiful, but it might eat alot of my leaves. oh well.

  27. We found one outside our front door. Fridley, MN.
    We want to keep it and watch it change, but from all the comments aren’t sure if it will survive. Any advice?

  28. I was just standing outside, and something huge and green fell right in front of my feet. I have never seen anything like this in my life! I googled “Huge Green Caterpillar/Worm with slime trail”. I am from St. Louis Park, MN

    Looks like an alien! So gross!!!

  29. I found one on my walk this morning, unfortaneately I accidently dropped him twice wondering if he would bite. He is now in an ice cream pail with grass and sticks. Hopefully he lives, he is SO huge! My first thought was Alien Caterpillar! Oshkosh, WI.

  30. Just found one of these in Golden Lake, Ontario, Canada. Never seen anything this big in this area.

  31. Found one on my carport this evening and was simply amazed and had to look it up…. Morganton, NC

  32. Found one crawling in the grass near a red maple today. Showed my 2 dogs and let them sniff him/her they tried to lick it :-). Put him on a branch in the tree and wished her/him luck!

  33. Saw one on the golf course in Hudson, Ohio….searched the Internet to see what it was exactly… Thanks for posting your photos and info.

  34. My boys (just shy of 2 and 5) and I just found one today near Allentown, PA. We have him in our butterfly habitat that we used earlier this year and are going to try to keep him! I, too, googled “large green caterpillar” and ended up here. :)

    Time to head out and grab some maple leaves!

  35. found one yesterday in the projects in Queens, NYC.
    Was crawling on the sidewalk, huge and juicy. Put it onto some plants out of the way.
    biggest one I ever saw!

  36. My kids have found this big green catarpillar in our yard. We live in the country by Long Prairie, MN. I’m not for sure if it is the same. But its the closet one I can find. It is double the size of my middle finger. It has 2 white nubby like stripes going down its back. Nubbys are bigger at the top of his head. Then it has diagonal stiles on each side of body that are white nubby things also.

  37. Found one today in the Target parking lot in Torrington, CT. We were driving by and saw it and scooped it up! Almost 4 inches long and an inch around!

  38. Found one in California City,Ca. I never saw anything like this before. I also think it was a alien. Because i have no veg. or fruit plants. this is the Mojave desert.

  39. Found one on the maple tree we planted earlier this year (newport, pa – near harrisburg). No wonder the leaves look terrible. We tossed him out into a field. :)

  40. just found one next to my house i almost stepped on it but made it a house what does it eat!?!?!??!


  41. Found one while I was checking the mail in OP, Kansas. My 7th grade daughter wanted to take it home and watch it change. We put it in a small aquarium-like container.

    My daughter and husband googled “big green caterpillar” and got this page. I love all the different comments from the past 3 years.

    We took a picture and it measures a little over 3″.

    She is making sure her brother, 11th grade student in field biology doesn’t get it when it turns into a moth for his class project.

  42. Alien alert in Laguna Beach, CA : ) We saw one this morning on the beach trying to climb up the bluff. We are having a high tide and big surf so we picked him up with a bag and moved him to higher ground. He was five inches long, the diameter of a quarter and he was really feisty. He was lime green with subtle silver white lines where his body opened when he moved. Who knows he could have been a she ;)

  43. I have fed many horn worms from my tomato garden to my chickens…but I realized quickly that this “large green caterpillar” wasn’t a horn worm. I have seen many of the large brown moths around our farm, just never saw the caterpillar form! Both are beautiful. I will set it free and let nature take it’s course, and it can eat whatever it wants around here. It’s so hot and dry that all our critters are looking for food and water. Prattville, Alabama.

  44. We found one under are maple tree at first thought it was creepy looked it up on the internet’decided to put in a jar and to see what would happen,can’t wait now to see what it does Lancaster,Ohio

  45. I caught one about 2 1/2 maybe 3 weeks ago. He was the biggest caterpillar i’ve ever seen. I’m excited to see it emerge. I would like to know how long it will take for it to emerge from it’s cocoon once it makes it. Any info will be greatly appreciated.
    Nicholson ga
    Adam banks

  46. Hi, Adam — if you look at the dates on this post and the linked “Big Brown Moth” post, you can see that we saw the caterpillar on August 15, 2008, and the moth emerged on May 30, 2009. (Also: I suspect if you keep the cocoon indoors, it will emerge too early.)

  47. Saw him/her descending my pin oak tree – fascinating!! I love that so many other people are interested in stuff like this. My family thinks I’m a little nuts; they don’t know what their missing. Holland. PA

  48. We found one crawling in the front yard at my daughter’s house in Tabor, IA. The grandkids put it in a container with leaves and grass. When we checked on it this morning, it has already started to make it’s cocoon. I googled green caterpillar and ended up here. Thanks for the information. I showed the kids the pictures of the moth that it will turn into. Hopefully they will keep track of it until next spring.

  49. Well I just found one in Waunarlwydd, South Wales, United Kingdom. These little critters sure do get around! how far can these things fly?

  50. my son and i were walking in the yard and found a giant green luna worm we are trying to raise it into a moth, We had it for a day now. I had put it in a empty fish tank and added some top soil leaves and sticks he seams to not be moving as much today, Can some one tell me what i need to do so me and my son can see this big guy turn into a giant moth???????????

  51. I found one of these in late summer. We planned on observing it for a bit, but it immediately made a cacoon in the jar. Now, two months later, it emerged. I was expecting a moth, but it’s a huge creature that looks like a cross between a dragonfly and a bee! It actually bit one of us.

  52. Found one today under a pin oak in Mercer County NJ.

    I love the colors of this creature. it’s in a water bottle with a couple of leaves right now and I hope to watch it form its cocoon.

    My brother had great success rearing and releasing monarchs this summer. He gathered the eggs and raised the caterpillars on milkweed leaves. He’d put a paper towel over the jar opening and they would form their chrysalis on that. He’d cut the section out and pin the towel to a shelf. 12-14 days later the butterfly would emerge.

    I am going to try the same basic technique, feeding oak leaves in a mason jar topped with a paper towel I realize I’ll have to wait until spring to see it emerge, but just hope I’m lucky enough to be around and see it happen.

  53. I just found one of these out behind my barn in Crossville, Tn. Judging from all the areas they have been seen, these guys get around. Wasn’t moving too fast so I was able to watch for a while.

  54. Found one making its way across the sidewalk at work. I just had to get a closer look. Lexington,NC.

  55. I did a little more research and what i found was a luna moth, it was in the 5th stage of the larvae cycle. It is identical to the picture above.

  56. I found one at my front door tonight in Gilbert, Az. My 4th grader son and I built a habitat for it to hopefully watch it change. I thought it would be fun for my son too. He studied caterpillars last year in science, so he gave me tips on what to put in the habitat.

  57. May 1, 2012 – Hot Springs Village, AR
    We had 5 huge brown polyphemus moths flying close to our windows tonight — obviously attracted to our ceiling lights inside…. Beautiful.

  58. We found one of these guys in Plymouth, Minnesota. We put him in a critter catcher and he started to spin his cocoon within a couple of hours. I hope he emerges in the spring. It’ll be a long wait but totally worth it! Definitely the biggest (weirdest looking too) caterpillar I have ever seen. I loved reading all of the other comments.

  59. Lol it’s amazing to read all of these posts from even last year. I am in Maple Grove, MN and found one inching it’s way across the driveway. HUGE, and beautiful. I put it in a vase and hope it makes a cocoon that eventually turns.

  60. My 4 year old has been entertained all day long today with one of these green monsters!

    Medina, Ohio

  61. I have a sighting to report from Arena, Wisconsin. I was having a hard time trying to identify it too.

  62. Found one in my front yard in Wayne, MI. Saw caterpillars all the time growing up in upstate NY, but never one as large as this fellow!

  63. Found one in Haliburton, Ontario. Never seen anything like it around here before. Just about stepped on it!

  64. I found one in our backyard, Pittsburgh, PA.
    6″ long and 1″ diameter. Ugly and scary looking.
    Harmless, though.

  65. We found one today in Chesapeake, VA. We put it in a small aquarium with leaves and sticks. My kids will each take it to class for a day (2nd and 4th grades). They’re calling him Curly.

  66. wow we found this one in Norfolk VA almost steped on it but we got it and it is a big green Caterpillar wow

  67. Found 6in bright green no lines no spikes catepillar must be some sort of moth it was moving pretty fast Wilmington NC

  68. My mom found one and brought over to show my son yesterday. We are located in mt. Holly nj. By the time we woke up this morning it had already made a cucoon. Does anyone know how long it takes for the moth to emerge? And where should I keep it in the house until it does emerge?

  69. I brought one of these caterpillars home since August and put it inside a ventilated box.The same day,the caterpillar made the silk cocoon and it’s been there since then.Today,I checked on it thinking it was dead,but to my surprise the little critter was moving inside! I got my camera ready for the moment it comes out!

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