Currently viewing the category: "butterfly caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big Green worm
Location: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
April 13, 2014 10:29 pm
Hi
I found these guys on my lemon tree and they have now spread to most trees in my garden.
Scary looking things with a thorn on there backs, have 2 big eyes and a mouth that looks like something out of aliens.
Pics attached.
Signature: Regards,

Citrus Swallowtail Caterpillar

Citrus Swallowtail Caterpillar

This is the Caterpillar of a Citrus Swallowtail, Papilio demodocus, a lovely butterfly that feeds on the leaves of citrus trees while in the larval stage.  All the features you describe are used as defense mechanisms by the caterpillar, which has a forked organ known as an osmeterium that is revealed and accompanied by a scent some predators might find off-putting.  We believe that is the thorn you have mentioned.  The eyes and mouth you mentioned are markings that might cause a predator, like a bird, to believe this is a much larger predator, like a snake, instead of a delectable morsel.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: White Caterpillar with black spots
Location: South Florida
April 11, 2014 12:58 pm
Hey bugman!
We have a few of these critters outside of our office building just hanging out in the bushes. I live in South Florida and this is my first time seeing this kind of bug. We’re not sure if it will be a moth or butterfly.
It is a white caterpillar with black spots and black spines. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance
Signature: Amber K

Zebra Longwing Caterpillar

Zebra Longwing Caterpillar

Dear Amber K,
This distinctive caterpillar is a Zebra Longwing Caterpillar,
Heliconius charithonia, and some of the bushes outside your office building must have passionflower growing on them.  Adult Zebra Longwings are lovely brown and yellow striped butterflies with forewings nearly twice the length of the hindwings.  See BugGuide for additional information and images.

Zebra Longwing Caterpillar

Zebra Longwing Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: slug bug
Location: Montclair NJ
January 22, 2014 1:13 pm
Hi – This bug was spotted in the suburbs of Montclair, NJ on a grassy curb.
July 19, 2012
Can you help identify it …?
thanks!
Signature: A Borns

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear A Borns,
This is the caterpillar of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail or a closely related species.  The beetle on the right is some species of Scarab.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar from Yucatan Peninsular
Location: Akumal ,Mexico
January 7, 2014 7:19 am
Hello bugman,
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.
Signature: creaturesnapper

Brushfooted Butterfly Caterpillar

Guatemalan Cracker Caterpillar

Dear creaturesnapper,
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.
Best wishes,
Keith

Ed. Note: 
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.

Hi Daniel
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 .
Thanks again
Paul

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.
Cheers,
Keith

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Daniel – Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars
Location: Hawthorne, CA
December 3, 2013 7:34 pm
Hi Daniel,
We have seven Monarch Butterfly caterpillars as of today and wanted to share some photos with you. There were more, but we can’t figure out what happened to them. Maybe wasps, or goldfinches?
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

Good Morning Anna,
What a nice cheerful posting you have provided for us this morning.  We believe Goldfinches are seed eaters, so if there is predation, we would suspect wasps to be the culprits.  We planted some cosmos seeds already and they are beginning to sprout.

Wonderful!  Thanks for letting me know that the goldfinches aren’t eating my caterpillars.  I so enjoy putting out Nyjer seed for them in the winter.
Anna

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can you identify?
Location: Taiwan
November 18, 2013 10:08 pm
Dear Bug People:
Are you able to tell me who is voraciously eating my cute mini-orange tree? (pic enclosed)
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Found on: Orange tree sapling
Size: about 4 cm
Color: green, with some uneven black spots/bands
Built: muscular, probably works out, nice abs, compact
Hairs: none
Behavior: protested against being picked up by sliming me and extending two orange-red tentacle-like appendages from its head, which it subsequently subtracted.
Current status: moping on a Taro leaf on other balcony. Not happy?
Signature: Luuk

Citrus Swallowtail Caterpillar

Citrus Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Luuk,
This appears to be an early instar caterpillar of a Citrus Swallowtail or Lime Swallowtail,
Papilio demoleus.  You can see comparable images as well as images of the entire life cycle on Featured Creatures.  If you can endure the loss of a some leaves on your tree, your will eventually metamorphose into a lovely Citrus Swallowtail.

Dear Daniel:
Thank you so much for your trouble! I really appreciate the prompt and detailed reply.
I have taken the pouting Citrus Swallowtail caterpillar from the Taro where I had put it to save my frail orange tree, and put him back. He’s now happily munching away again. I figured I can always buy a new orange tree sapling, but I would not know where to purchase a beautiful butterfly.
Thanks again!
Luuk

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination