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News Article

This Creepy Horned Caterpillar Looks Like a Miniature Dragon

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We've previously shown you some examples of creepy moth larvae that look a thousand times more horrifying than their cuddly adult forms – and even some that can straight-up kill you – but most of them are small enough to appear less threatening... but that's not the case with the humongous larva of the regal moth (Citheronia regalis), which definitely earns its nickname “the horned devil.”
 
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This squirmy green behemoth, which can grow to lengths of six inches or more, is the largest caterpillar species ever discovered in North America. It's armed with curved red and black horns (which are non-venomous, so just relax), which make it look a bit like a traditional Chinese dragon. 
 
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Photo: Tom Woodward via Flickr
 
Citheronia regalis is fairly common across most of the southern US, and can usually be found in hickory and walnut trees. The orange-and-yellow adults are also among the largest of North American moths. Here's a clip showing the stages of the creature's life cycle:
 
 
Still not creepy enough for you? How about a caterpillar that can transform itself into a snake?
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