Meet the Hickory Horned Devil

Habitat: North America; from southern New Jersey west throughout the Ohio Valley, the edge of the Great Plains states and south to East Texas
Status: No conservation concerns

Caterpillars don’t usually conjure up images of horror and danger… do they? Well, I think your idea of a caterpillar might change forever after you’ve seen the Hickory Horned Devil, the caterpillar of the Regal, or Royal Walnut Moth (Citheronia regalis). 
 Bright green in color with long, red spikes with black tips, the Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar is basically screaming, “STAY AWAY OR ELSE!” However, as scary as it may appear, it’s actually all just an elaborate ruse! The horns, while menacing, don’t even sting. These guys are actually one of the more easily handled caterpillars of the family saturniidae.
Guess the moral of the story is, don’t always judge a book by its cover! 

Our Backyard Alien: The Hickory Horned Devil. from kred on Vimeo.

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  • Sara P.

    Creepiest. Caterpillar. Ever. The moth looks kinda like a Velvet Mite with wings.

  • Anonymous

    We found a Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar today. It was beautiful!

  • Anonymous

    Found one in Georgia. South of Atlanta. Today September 5th, 2012.

  • Anonymous

    Found 1 today in Bridgeport, West Virginia

  • Anonymous

    Found one today in Adger, Alabama.

  • Anonymous

    I’m from Bridgeport, WV and found one today in Charlotte, NC. They must search us out!

  • Anonymous

    found one in laurel, maryland today. Huge critter!!

  • Anonymous

    Found one in saltsburg pennsyvania

  • Jay

    Since everyone else is reporting theirs… found one in Pelham, Alabama today.

  • Biscuit

    Hello, hickory horned devil. Nice to meet you! Wait. Carly said MEET the hickory horned devil, right?
    Yeah. Good.
    Nice to meet you hickory horned devil! :)

  • Marino Lemons

    found one in Decatur, Ga today about 6 inches long

  • jessica

    Found one in Central New Jersey tonight. scared me half to death until I looked up what it is. :) awesome find.

  • Elizabeth-Michael Nesbitt

    We found this cool creature in Saint Paris, Ohio today, September 1st, 2013

  • tim

    we found one in Polkville,NC today september 4 2013

  • Amanda

    Found one in red bay al today

  • aleasha

    I found one in Dalton how scary this thing

  • Shirley Jones

    Just Love this stuff!!!

  • Lauren

    Found one in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

  • Joel

    Found one in palatka fl today 7-6-14

  • Susan

    Found one today, August 5, 2014, Hughesville, Maryland. Beautiful and scary looking. I have never seen anything like this before. It is 6 inches long and one inch thick.

  • DiggieDiggs

    I saw one the other day it was beautiful.

  • Ashley Jensen

    I swear I saw one when I was 12! Is that possible though? I was in Fort Frances, ONT. Canada :S doesn’t seem like the normal environment for one of these guys.