IO Moth Lifecycle; Automeris io

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Io Moth
Automeris io
Io Moth   Automeris io   CAUTION!   Caterpillars sting!

Caterpillars eat various host plants (larval food plants) including Hackberry, Redbud, Sugarberry, Pear, Red Bay, Willow, Swamp Bay, and Blackberry.
Adult IO Moth
Automeris io
IO caterpillars hatching
from eggs on hackberry.
First few instars are red
and stay together
Clearly these caterpillars
are a social group, staying
together on the plant.
As they grow and change
color, they follow each
other whereever they go
In this photo, one larva
is in the center while
four larvae circle it.
At this point it
becomes apparant that the
caterpillar is an Io Moth
Caterpillars still stay
grouped together
By fifth instar,
caterpillars are loners.
A classic pose for
Io caterpillars is '7',
underneath a leaf.
This caterpillar is eating Red Bay.
Red adult Io moth,
wings open
Normal position
for adult Io moths
A yellow male Io Moth.
Male adult Io moth's
antennae are feathered
Although Io caterpillars
sting badly, adult
moths cannot hurt you.