Io moths are a large moth that can usually easily be identified by its big eye-spots that are located on its hindwings. The eye-spots are not always visible, but when io moths needs to defend themselves it exposes the eye-spots in hopes of scaring off its predators. Male io moths have more yellowish colored forewings whereas the females have darker reddish-brown forewings.
The caterpillars of io moths have several different looks through its lifespan. Although its looks change during each molt it is always covered in spines. The first instar of the io moth larva is a reddish brown color. The second through the fourth instars have more of a yellowish brown color. The fifth instar is when they begin to get their green color. There are seven instars in total.
The io moth caterpillar’s sting can be painful and can cause a nasty rash. They are very interesting to look at, but it is best not to touch them. These beautiful caterpillars can often be seen marching in a single file line and feeding together in large groups.