From this photo, the uninitiated could be forgiven for thinking that slug caterpillars are nothing. Inconsequential little specks hardly worthy of notice. Nothing could be further from the truth, as we shall see. Most of these photos were taken either this fall, or the last. All of these species are at least fairly common in parts of Ohio and occur throughout much of the Midwest.
To learn more about the fascinating world of slug moths, get your hands on a copy of The Slug Caterpillar Moths (Lepidoptera: Limacodidae), and Other Zygaenoidea of Ohio. You can get one RIGHT HERE. Sounds a bit heavy, I know, but it's easily understood and includes a wealth of info about the interesting world that follows in this post. One of the book's authors is Dennis Profant, who lives in the Athens, Ohio area and manages this EXCELLENT BLOG.
There is still a week or two of good caterpillar hunting in this part of the world. Next time you're out and about in a wooded area, take time to inspect the undersides of leaves and you may run across some of these spectacular slugs.