Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
(Grand Forks, B.C. Canada)
Sphinx Moth Caterpillar - top
This is the biggest green caterpillar I've ever seen - it's got the most beautiful violet and white stripes on its sides, and a brown coloured horn or spike. As far as I know, this is not sharp, so it won't prick you.
The little white dots on its side and abdomen appear to be mites or some type of parasite - who knew?
I found the caterpillar when one of my chickens was staring at something on the ground, and pecked at it, then leaped backwards like it was stung! I went and looked, and here was the enormous caterpillar. I had no idea if it was a destructive pest, but I put it back in the long grass to continue on its way.
With a caterpillar this size, I can't imagine how big the moth is...