Identify this!

A reader from Stillwater sent in a few photos of this lovely creature. They thought it was just some plant debris until it started crawling. Can you guess what it is?


Obviously, the important clue is that they’re from Stillwater. This must be a larval spawn of Michele Bachmann.

Seriously, though, I know exactly what that is: they’re very distinctive. It’s a hag moth caterpillar.


  1. says

    I saw one of those things on a plant when I was a kid. I ran like hell. Inauspicious start for a budding antenna-head!

    Limacodid moth larvae are some weird-pygidium bugs!

  2. Guav says

    gordonsowner, Hag Moth caterpillars usually grow upwards of 20 feet long and can weigh up to 250 lbs :)

  3. Fox1 says

    Awesome, PZ, you’re like the arthropod Bill Nye. I only have the same pictures to go off of, my dad found the little guy, but I believe the scale, based on the curvature of the dish and what I remember of its size, to be somewhere on the order of a half-inch to an inch.

    As for the Doctor’s alternate suggestion… well, until Patty Wetterling mops up Stillwater’s little mistake in November and the place goes back to being known for its incredible surplus of antique shops, maybe I’ll start being hyper-literal and just say I’m from May Township :)

  4. Eric Zaetsch says

    It crawled from one of Rick Santorum’s nostrils; and said, “No way I’m staying in a mind like that.”

  5. JohnJB says

    They thought it was just some plant debris until it started crawling

    Google “hag moth youtube” to see some.

  6. Fox1 says

    demallien: Oooooo, one word: Shoggoth!

    I hate you so much for thinking of that before me.
    That’s awesome.

  7. M says

    Sweet Jesus, can we have some sort of scale in future? I was convinced that thing was like two feet long. I will be having nightmares.