What is this strange bug? Found in a house being built in Ohio. Really it looks like bird poop from a distance. Then it looks like a snail, but fuzzy like a caterpillar. Only, it then took flight. Yes, it flew away! Sara
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Hi Sara, thanks for writing. Very cool find. That is a wood-nymph moth, and yes, they certainly do look like bird poop, don’t they? I’m pretty sure yours is the Beautiful wood-nymph, Eudryas grata, because the white edge at the back of your moth is fairly smooth, where the white meets the darker color, as you can see clearly in this second photo you sent. There is another very similar species, the Pearly wood-nymph, Eudryas unio, but in that case, the white edge is scalloped, as shown in this photo.
Their bird poop camouflage is presumably an adaptation that reduces the likelihood that a bird or other predator will notice the moth and think of it as something edible. Tom