I found this lovely caterpillar relaxing on the branch of a bush a few weeks ago. The species is Citheronia splendens sinaloensis (splendid royal month). Believe it or not, this beast is almost four inches long! Growing in the desert poses its challenges. The summer monsoon rains are short, so vegetation is only ephemerally green. This leaves a short window for plant-eating animals to develop. A year’s worth of ecology is compressed into a few short months. What a life!