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

Subject: What type of caterpillar is this?
Location: Fairbanks Alaska
August 1, 2014 6:37 pm
Hey,
I live in Fairbanks, Alaska and this is the first time that I’ve seen one of these. We have a variety of butterflies and moths up here, but I’m not sure what species this particular one is. Any ideas?
Signature: Chris

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Chris,
This is one of the Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillars, and there are many regional species.  We have trouble distinguishing one caterpillar from another, so we are researching ranges to help determine the species.  According to TurtlePuddle on the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail,
Papilio canadensis:  “These large and beautiful butterflies have been unusually abundant throughout the Anchorage area this summer (2002). … They are usually found in or near deciduous or mixed forests. They overwinter in the chrysalis. They range across much of Canada, Alaska, and several other northern states of the US. Adults nectar on a wide variety of flowers.”  According to BugGuide, the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail ranges in:  “northern US, Alaska, and every province and territory of Canada, north to the tundra” and “larvae feed on a wide variety of plants, including ash, cherry, poplar, and willow.”  BugGuide also has images of the caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this giant green caterpillar
Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
August 1, 2014 10:42 am
I saw this giant green caterpillar in the neighbourhood and I would love to find out what it is!
Signature: Glen

Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar

Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Glen,
This is the caterpillar of a Pandorus Sphinx, and it is a variable species with background colors of orange, brown and black as well as green.  See Sphingidae of the Americas for additional information.
  The adult Pandorus Sphinx is a beautiful green moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth larvae group
Location: Chichen Itza, Yucatan
August 1, 2014 1:52 am
Hi
Can you identify this group of, what I guess are, moth larvae. These were in full view at the base of a tree at Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico.
Many thanks
Regards
Signature: Bernard Collen

Aggregation of Ruby Spotted Swallowtail Caterpillars

Aggregation of Ruby Spotted Swallowtail Caterpillars

Good morning Bernard,
Though this is behavior that a person with some knowledge of insects might suspect would indicate that these are moth caterpillars, this is actually an aggregation of Ruby Spotted Swallowtail Caterpillars.  The Ruby Spotted Swallowtail is a lovely butterfly.  This social behavior is likely a survival strategy.

Aggregation of Ruby Spotted Swallowtail Caterpillars

Aggregation of Ruby Spotted Swallowtail Caterpillars

Thanks, Daniel, I am surprised!  I had assumed they were moth larvae.
Thanks again for your prompt reply
Best regards
Bernard

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Morning Cloak Caterpillars?
Location: Saint John, NB Canada
July 30, 2014 6:40 am
I found this congregation of caterpillars on the branch of my willow tree last night. This morning they had abandoned that branch, leaving clumps of black, and had relocated to a higher branch. I am located in Saint John, NB Canada and have never encountered these before. Based on what I’ve seen on the internet, I believe they are Mourning Cloak Caterpillars but I was hoping someone could confirm that makes sense. I’m also wondering if these are dangerous and should heed any warnings. I’m not a creepy crawly fan so I haven’t gotten too close but I’ve taken a couple of photos zoomed in as much as possible.
Signature: Jennifer

Mourning Cloak Caterpillar Aggregation

Mourning Cloak Caterpillar Aggregation

Hi Jennifer,
Though you image lacks critical detail, there are enough similarities to presume these are Mourning Cloak Caterpillars.  Your very descriptive account of the sighting supports that supposition as willow is a common food plant.  Mourning Cloak Caterpillars frequently feed in a group, known as an aggregation, a more accepted term for a group of caterpillars than the term congregation.  Mourning Cloak Caterpillars are not considered dangerous, but the spines can cause a painful prick if they are carelessly handled.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: HELP
Location: Oregon
July 26, 2014 10:48 am
We have a caterpillar that is going to turn into a cinnabar moth, we already know what bug it is but it just went into a cocoon (yay!). How long will it be in a cocoon?
Signature: Seriously bugged

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar

Dear Seriously bugged,
According to Bug Life:  “Caterpillars are feeding from July – early September and are initially pale yellow but soon develop bright yellow and black stripes to deter predators. … The caterpillars overwinter as pupa in a cocoon under the ground. The adult moths emerge around mid May and are on the wing up until early August, during which time males and females will mate and eggs are laid.”
  If that is accurate, you will not experience eclosion until next spring.

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Subject: butterflies
Location: Middleville, Michigan
July 25, 2014 12:01 pm
These Beauties are new to my yard this year. I believe they belong to a checkerspot.
Signature: Teri

Baltimore Checkerspot Caterpillar

Baltimore Checkerspot Caterpillar

He Teri,
We agree that your caterpillar looks exactly like a Baltimore Checkerspot Caterpillar,
Euphydryas phaeton, posted to BugGuide, and the chrysalis also looks like a Baltimore Checkerspot Chrysalis posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “The primary larval food source is turtlehead (Chelone glabra), although recent studies have shown that the caterpillars will eat a larger variety of plant species including English plantain (Plantago lanceolata), a common yard weed.”  The plant you have documented with the caterpillar appears to be plantain, based on the images on the USDA site. 

Baltimore Checkerspot Chrysalis

Baltimore Checkerspot Chrysalis

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination