Found in Adirondack foothills, northern New York, on woodland trail. About 3 inches long. A hard shell covered with protruding white spikes and long white hairs. Also covered with white spots, some rimmed with bright blue. Yellow/black finely polka-dotted head/tail; one end with horn-like pincers. Yellow legs.
Your photo is of the Imperial moth caterpillar.
These are found in eastern US, Ontario and Quebec.
This is one of the silkmoth (Saturniidae family) caterpillars…most get very large … rather spectacular in color and size!
There are two color forms of caterpillars the green ones and the orangish brown ones.
This caterpillar feeds on leaves of bald cypress, basswood, birch, cedar, elm, hickory, honeylocust, maple, oak, pine, sassafras, sweetgum, sycamore, and walnut.
It s interesting to note that adults emerge before sunrise and mate after midnight the next day. Adult moths do not feed. Moths do come to lights at night.