Subject: Caterpillar from Yucatan Peninsular
Location: Akumal ,Mexico
January 7, 2014 7:19 am
On a recent trip to Akumal on the Yucatan peninsular ,I spotted this striking caterpillar .It was feeding on some sort of climbing plant ,and was the only one present .Any help with ID would be much appreciated.
We are pretty confident that your caterpillar is in the Brushfooted Butterfly family Nymphalidae. We have not had any luck matching an image, so we are contacting Keith Wolfe to see if he can assist in the identification.
Keith Wolfe identifies the Guatemalan Cracker Caterpillar
Happy New Year, Daniel! Ah yes, one of my favorite caterpillars. This is a fourth-instar Guatemalan Cracker, Hamadryas guatemalena . . .
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/9015108 (also from Yucatán Peninsula)
http://home.comcast.net/~bflyearlystages/Hamadryas-guatemalena-juvenile-biology.pdf (life history from El Salvador) Download the pdf. Hamadryas-guatemalena-juvenile-biology-1.
We also have several butterfly images from our archives that we have identified as being Gray Crackers, Hamadryas februa, and now we are wondering if they might perhaps be Guatemalan Crackers.
Thankyou very much for the identification of my mystery caterpillar ,and indeed many thanks to Keith .w,also.
I did see a lot of Cracker butterflies on my trip and wasn’t sure if they were Grey or a different species ,so that question may also be resolved .
Hi again Paul,
Your identification request will post live to our site next week as we postdate submissions to go live daily while we are out of the office.
Ed. Note: We wrote back to Keith to see if he could help identify what we have called a Gray Cracker. Here is his response.
On Jan 11, 2014, at 6:25 PM
Very sorry, Daniel, but neither my expertise nor interest extends to adults. FYI, some Hamadryas butterflies are notoriously difficult for even trained lepidopterists to identify.
No problem Keith. Nice to know they are difficult to distinguish from one another. I guess the butterflies don’t have the problem we people do or there wouldn’t be caterpillars.