Currently viewing the category: "Caterpillars and Pupa"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Suspected Eumorpha in Costa Rica
Location: Carara National Park, Costa Rica
July 23, 2016 12:25 am
Though I’m not positive, I think this caterpillar appears to be in the genus Eumorpha judging by its “tail”. I found it in Carara National Park in Costa Rica, where I saw more species of caterpillar than I could possibly count– it was wonderful.
Signature: Casey

Hornworm:  Eumorpha triangulum

Hornworm: Eumorpha triangulum

Hi Again Casey,
We agree that this is a Hornworm in the genus Eumorpha, and after searching through the Sphingidae of Costa Rica, we believe the images on that site of
Eumorpha triangulum Hornworms look the closest to your individual.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Purple caterpillar with pink stripe
Location: Caribbean
July 16, 2016 2:44 pm
Hi, my mum recently spotted this purple caterpillar with a pink and white strip along its body. It has a long stinger on its rear end. It looks similar to the frangipani caterpillar that we also have here. We live in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. Can you help us identify it?
Signature: S.J.

Whats That Hornworm???

Whats That Hornworm???  Isognathus species

Dear  S.J.,
This is a Hornworm Caterpillar in the family Sphingidae, the family that includes the Frangipani Caterpillar, the larva of the Tetrio Sphinx.  We searched the Sphingidae of Trinidad page to no avail.  The horn reminds us of the caudal horn of early instar caterpillars in the genus Eumorpha, and we also wonder if this might be a strange color variation of the Tetrio Sphinx.  We have contacted Bill Oehlke and we hope to hear back soon.  We hope you will allow Bill to post your image to his very comprehensive site.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so very much for your help! Sure he can post the image, that’s no problem.
Regards,
S.J.

Bill Oehlke Agrees
Daniel,
Yes, I agree it is one of the Isognathus, and scyron is likely.
Bill

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange Dog Caterpillar?
Location: Southern Orange County, CA
July 23, 2016 10:56 am
I found two caterpillars on my navel orange tree on July 22, 2016. Are these Giant Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillars?
Signature: Julie Macy

Orange Dogs

Orange Dogs

Dear Julie,
You are absolutely correct.  These are Orange Dogs, the caterpillars of Giant Swallowtails.  Interestingly, though they are native to North America, Giant Swallowtails were first reported in Southern California in the 1990s.  Their range expanded as citrus cultivation moved across the country.  Even though citrus is not native to North America, once cultivation of oranges and other citrus fruits gained popularity in the southeast, the native Giant Swallowtails adapted to them as a host plant.

Thank you!  I found another yesterday.  I’ve never seen them before.  It will be fun to watch them as they change.
Julie

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What bug is this?
Location: Southern Oregon
July 21, 2016 1:41 pm
Location: Medford, Oregon
Bug: Looks and moves like a caterpillar, but it can pull it’s head into it’s body
Markings: Looks like an eye near it’s tail
I raise Monarch butterflies and it has the same waste product as a monarch caterpillar, so it must be a leaf eater.
Very unusual insect, and quite large, I’ve never seen anything like it.
Signature: Tracy

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Tracy,
The Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar,
Eumorpha achemon, in your image is the only member of its genus found in Oregon.  It is a member of the Hawkmoth or Sphinx Moth family Sphingidae, and the caterpillars from this family are called Hornworms.  The Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar is a little unusual among hornworms because it loses its horn as the caterpillar grows and molts, and all that remains is a caudal bump which you likened to an eye.  This may serve as protective mimicry, and its ability to retract its head, which you also observed, is a defense mechanism as well.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas site, food plants include:  “Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia creeper, Vitis Grape, Ampelopsis Vines and Ivies” so we are guessing there is one of those plants near where the sighting occurred.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help Identify
Location: Talbott, Tn 37877 in a 80 year old cedar tree
July 20, 2016 5:04 pm
My daughter recently found this little guy hanging from what appeared to be a spider web but upon further examination could have been its own silk. I have been told that it could be a chameleon worm but I can’t find any info to back it up. Can you help identify please? I would like to know incase my daughter finds another one I can tell her to either stay away or its safe to touch. Thanks in advance!
Bryan Hux
6th Grade Science
Jefferson Middle School
Jefferson City Tn
Signature: Bryan Hux

Unknown Spanworm

Juniper Twig Geometer

Dear Bryan,
Though we have not had any success with a species identification, we can tell you this is an Inchworm or Spanworm in the family Geometridae, and it poses no threat to humans as it is neither venomous nor poisonous.  We wish we could be certain that the cedar upon which it was found was also the host plant as we couldn’t find any similar looking Spanworms associated with cedar.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more success at a species identification than we have had searching BugGuide and other sites. 

Karl finds the ID
Hi Daniel and Bryan:
It looks like a Juniper-twig Geometer caterpillar (Patalene olyzonaria). Despite the name, the principal food for the caterpillars is given as cedars of all varieties. Regards, Karl

Thanks so much Karl.  We like our name “Diamondback Spanworm” since the BugGuide description is:  “Larva: body brownish or grayish with dark angular lines dorsally and laterally, creating a diamond-shaped pattern; whitish patches below angular lines in subdorsal area; pair of black dorsal warts on ninth abdominal segment; head brown and gray with dark brown herringbone pattern on lobes.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Consultation
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
July 18, 2016 8:41 pm
Hi there,
Wondering if you might be able to help me identify this beauty. Maybe some kind of tent caterpillar? I found a bunch of them eating what I believe are the leaves of the trembling aspen. It just pupated and I would love to know the species so I can know approximately how long it will remain in the pupal stage.
So much appreciated!
Signature: Nicole

Mourning Cloak Caterpillar

Mourning Cloak Caterpillar

Dear Nicole,
These are most certainly NOT going to become Tent Caterpillar Moths, though we understand why you are mistaken.  The Caterpillar and Chrysalis will both eventually metamorphose into lovely Mourning Cloak Butterflies.  According to BugGuide:  “Eggs are laid in groups circling twigs of the host plant. Caterpillars live in a communal web and feed together on young leaves, then pupate and emerge as adults in June or July. After feeding briefly, the adults estivate until fall, when they re-emerge to feed and store energy for hibernation. Some adults migrate south in the fall.”  Because they hibernate as adults, Mourning Cloaks are among the longest lived butterflies and they are among the first to appear in the spring, sometimes flying on warm sunny days while there is still snow on the ground.  Mourning Cloaks are somewhat unusual among butterflies too in that they rarely visit flowers for nectar, instead feeding on tree sap and overly ripe fruit, two good natural sources for sugary fluids that they need for sustenance.  Mourning Cloaks have a large range including most of the northern hemisphere.  In England, the butterfly is called the Camberwell Beauty.

Mourning Cloak Chrysalis

Mourning Cloak Chrysalis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination