Currently viewing the category: "Caterpillars and Pupa"
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Subject: Caterpillars in Costa Rica
Location: Monteverde, Costa Rica
April 24, 2015 10:28 am
What are these caterpillars, what are they going to turn into, why do they clump like this, and why does one (lower right) appear to have white things on it?
Signature: Ashley from the Monteverde Institute

Nymphalidae Caterpillars

Moth Caterpillars

Dear Ashley,
We believe these Caterpillars are in the Brush Footed Butterfly family Nymphalidae, and the caterpillar in question appears to have been parasitized by a Chalcid or Braconid Wasp.  We will contact Keith Wolfe to see if he can identify the caterpillars more specifically.

Nymphalidae Caterpillar parasitized by Wasp

Moth Caterpillar parasitized by Wasp

Keith Wolfe provides a correction
Hi Daniel,
Nope, these are immature moths, the scoli (spines) being much too long for any Neotropical nymphalid.
Best wishes,

After Keith Wolfe’s correction, we are now speculating that they are relatives of Buck Moths in the subfamily Hemileucinae and we will see if Bill Oehlke can provide any information.

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Subject: Tiniest inchworm
Location: South Central Kentucky
April 21, 2015 10:50 am
This morning I found this inchworm near my neck. We have a garden and chickens and many new fruit trees. Also there was a stray puppy here yesterday. So between all that, no clue where this came from. Found it on April 21. It has been about 65-80 degrees this last week with a LOT of rain. This worm is about the size of a thread and about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. It is black with no markings visible to the eyes. The pic isn’t very good cuz the camera couldn’t focus close enough. Thank you for your reply but I understand if you don’t… Have a good day!
Signature: Reneé

Tiny Inchworm

Tiny Inchworm

Dear Reneé,
Though we are unable to provide you with a species identification, we are able to provide you with a response.  As you have indicated, this is an Inchworm or Spanworm in the family Geometridae.  The larvae from this family is characterized by having only two pairs of prolegs, three pairs fewer than most caterpillars, hence their locomotion is affected.  They move by a looping action as your image indicates.  Here is the explanation on BugGuide:  “[Geometridae Larvae] generally have only two pairs of prolegs (at the hind end) rather than the usual five pairs in most lepidoptera; the lack of prolegs in the middle of the body necessitates the peculiar method of locomtion, drawing the hind end up to the thoracic legs to form a loop, and then extending the body forward.”  This Inchworm probably fell from a tree in your garden.

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Subject: Caterpillar identification
Location: Fort Worth, TX
April 18, 2015 3:19 pm
Hi –
Any chance that you can tell me what kind of caterpillar this is? I have two young girls that are very curious about it.
Signature: Not sure what this means…

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Your caterpillar is a Forest Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria.

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Subject: Caterpillar Munching on Grapevine
Location: High Springs, Florida
April 18, 2015 6:00 pm
Hi! Despite numerous attempts to ID this beautiful caterpillar, its true identity continues to elude me. It sure loves my grapevine and it gets more beautiful everyday. I’d love for you to tell me what it’ll become. Thank you.
Signature: Elizabeth

Eight Spotted Forrester Caterpillar

Eight Spotted Forrester Caterpillar

Dear Elizabeth,
Your caterpillar is an Eight Spotted Forrester Caterpillar,
Alypia octomaculata, and we verified its identification on BugGuide.  The adult Eight Spotted Forrester is a pretty black and white diurnal moth that is frequently mistaken for a butterfly when it visits blossoms on sunny days.

Amy Gosch, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Alfonso Moreno, Sandra StCloud Johnson, Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Juliett Moth liked this post
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Subject: unknown tussock moth caterpillar
Location: Napa, California
April 12, 2015 10:10 am
Friends who live in Napa California recently photographed this caterpillar on their property.
After going through your caterpillar pages, we concluded it was a tussock moth caterpillar but couldn’t match the color pattern with any of the species shown. The closest seems to be that of the
Western Tussock Moth. What is your identification of this caterpillar?
Signature: Mike Walsh

Probably Western Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Probably Western Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Mike,
There are several species of Tussock Moths in the genus
Orgyia that are found in California, and we believe this is most likely the Caterpillar of the Western Tussock Moth, Orgyia vetusta, but it may be impossible to determine the exact species with an image since all members of the genus have very similar looking caterpillars and there is also much variation within the species.  See this BugGuide image for comparison.

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Subject: Unidentified Caterpillar
Location: South Africa
April 15, 2015 1:19 am
Hello Bugman,
I found this Caterpillar on my Cape Goose Berry plant. I live in South Africa and we are now in very late Autumn. What type of caterpillar is this? Is it harmful to my plants? Does it turn into an endangered butterfly or moth after metamorphosis? Should I get rid of it or is it harmless?
Many thanks,
Signature: Andrea Joubert

Death's Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Andrea,
This is a Death’s Head Hawkmoth Caterpillar and it will eventually metamorphose into a Death’s Head
Hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos, a species most recognizable because it was used to illustrate the blockbuster movie poster for Silence of the Lambs.  The moth is not endangered.  A single caterpillar on a plant will eat the leaves, which does not permanently damage the plant unless it is very young or otherwise compromised.  A healthy plant will resprout leaves.

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