Terrible and Awful-Looking Caterpillars
Here’s a list of creepy-looking and scary caterpillars. Some of these little creatures are colorful, some are toxic and others are absolutely unique.
1.) Julia Butterfly (Dryas iulia)
The Julia Butterfly caterpillar can be found from Brazil to Florida, USA. It looks creepy but somehow attractive for its long brown-black spines. It is also commonly known as Julia Heliconian. It looks like bit creepy but it’s unique somehow.
2.) Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)
This brown and horny Brimstone Moth caterpillar is one of the most weirdly-shaped caterpillars. This creepy-looking animal can be found in the Palearctic region and the Near East. It feeds on apple, willow, Prunus, birch and many others.
3.) Polka-Dot Wasp Moth (Syntomeida epilais)
This orange-colored with polka dots larva is the caterpillar of the Polka-Dot Wasp Moth. This moth species is endemic to the Caribbean. It feeds on oleander which makes it a toxic species and is widely known for its gluttonous appetite. It also feeds on devil’s potato plants. This hairy caterpillar is also commonly called the Oleander Caterpillar.
4.) Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas)
The caterpillar of the Atlas Moth is certainly one of the most unusual-looking caterpillars. It inhabits tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia. It also has one of the most unusual colorations among caterpillars.
5.) Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar (Urbanus proteus)
The Long-tailed Skipper caterpillar is unique for having a head that is peculiar among other caterpillars. It can be found throughout tropical and subtropical America. This weird-looking caterpillar is also known to attack ornamental plants like wisteria and butterfly pea.
6.) Garden Acraea (Acraea horta)
The pupa and caterpillar of the Garden Acraea, a butterfly species, look creepy. It inhabits South Africa and Zimbabwe. This weird-looking caterpillar feeds on Passiflora or Passion Fruit, Kiggelaria africana and Tacsonia.
7.) Saddleback Caterpillar (Sibine stimulea)
The Saddleback Caterpillar is one of the most beautifully colored and structured caterpillar but its two false eyes and spiny appearance makes it look creepy. It is distinct for the white-ringed brown in the center which looks like saddle, hence the name. Be careful with this species, it is one of the most venomous caterpillars in the world. Its stings can be very painful and can cause swelling, nausea, and leave a rash that can last for days. This beautiful creature is also known as the “Packsaddle”.
8.) Stinging Rose Caterpillar (Parasa indetermina)
Yes these creatures are colorful and beautiful but beware, they are dangerous. The bright coloration of the Stinging Rose Moth caterpillar is a reminder that this small fellow is a toxic caterpillar. It lives in the United States and feeds on apple, maple, oak, dogwood and other plant species.
These caterpillars are not colorful or uniquely shaped but I decided to include them on the list due to their unusual behavior.
9.) Tersa Sphinx Moth (Xylophanes tersa)
Like the Spicebush Swallowtail, the caterpillar of the Tersa Sphinx Moth has two large false eyes and two smaller eyespots that make it looks scary. It can be found in North, Central and South America. It was commonly named Tersa Sphinx because it resembles the Sphinx in its resting position.
10.) Pine Processionary (Thaumetopoea pityocampa)
This is not a snake or a very long worm. These are caterpillars! These extremely unique caterpillars belong to the Pine Processionary moth. They can be found in central and southern Europe. The caterpillars march in their usual fashion to the ground when they are ready to pupate. Avoid handling these hairy critters because they can cause extreme irritation to the skin.