This looper, probably Synchlora aerata, the caterpillar of the Wavy-lined Emerald, was found at Dinosaur Provincial Park on 30 May, 2012. I first noticed it because it was shaking “in the wind”. The only problem was, it was during a brief windless lull, so the unusual movement attracted my attention rather than causing me to overlook it. At first I thought it may have been parasitized and that the ‘ornaments’ were spent pupal cocoons, but when I looked at the photographs later, it does seem that the looper actually has attachment points for the adornments, which appear to be flower petals.
Visit the U of A Entomology Collection for more on this moth.
ID’d by Janet Scott, Gary Anweiler and Chris Schmidt at AltaLeps