Subject: Slug Caterpillar?
December 16, 2014 7:13 am
I found this little creature 2 days ago, sitting quietly on a leaf in a park just outside of Taipei, Taiwan. It’s about one centimeter long, and it wasn’t moving; just sitting there minding its own business. A quick image search shows “slug moth” as a possible candidate, but I couldn’t find anything quite like it. Any ideas? Many thanks!
In our opinion, this is most likely a Leaf Beetle Larva, probably a Tortoise Beetle Larva in the subfamily Cassidinae and not a Slug Moth Caterpillar. It looks similar to this individual from Belize from FlickR as well as this individual from our archives.
Thank you so much for identifying my photo as belonging to a Tortoise Beetle larva! I think you were spot on, as I took the photo only 2 minutes after I photographed a Mottled Tortoise Beetle only a meter away. The larva is so eye-catching that I didn’t make the connection, but now I can clearly see that the black markings on the adult beetle wings mirror the black markings on the larva. I’ve attached photos that I took of each.
Thanks so much for the update. We cannot say for certain that the Tortoise Beetle and the larva are the same species, but their proximity to one another is a stronger indication than the similarity in the markings as adults often differ drastically in appearance from the larvae.