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

Subject: monarchs
Location: Westhampton Beach, NY
November 13, 2016 8:47 am
Dear Bugman,
I planted lots of butterfly weed in my yard & had so many monarch caterpillars this year! But now it is cold here in the northeast (east end of Long Island, NY) and I still see some. The problem is, the plants are dying and the caterpillars don’t have much to eat. Is there a way to save the larvae? There is one chrysalis hanging on a dead leaf. You can already see the wings inside. Will this hatch successfully & fly south? Thanks.
Signature: Elaine

Prepupal Monarch Caterpillar

Prepupal Monarch Caterpillar

Hi Elaine,
Alas, we cannot state with any certainty that your soon to emerge Monarch will successfully complete its migration voyage.  In nature’s effort to preserve populations, and because of the uncertainty of weather, insects may continue to reproduce past the time that they would complete metamorphosis before inclement weather begins.  From year to year, that date changes.  Like you, we will hope for the best.  If you cannot feed the larvae on milkweed, we don’t think your existing caterpillars will survive.

Thanks so much for your quick response.  I’ll see if I can find some local “weed” to feed them!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Chrysalis
Location: Virginia
October 2, 2016 9:02 am
I’m wondering what kind of insect makes these chrysalis’s. We have 7 of then hanging from our siding. They formed in late September. Thank you!
Signature: Catie

Brush Footed Butterfly Chrysalis

Checkerspot Chrysalis

Dear Catie,
These are the Chrysalides of a Brush Footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, though they do NOT look like a likely first suspect, the chrysalis of a Mourning Cloak.  We frequently hear of Mourning Cloak Caterpillars leaving the trees upon which they are feeding, often willow or elm, and metamorphosing in the eaves of a nearby home.  Though Mourning Cloaks are Brush Footed Butterflies, the structure of the chrysalis appears to be different from your individuals.  We are going to request assistance from Keith Wolfe with this identification.

Chrysalides of Brush Footed Butterflies

Chrysalides of Checkerspot Butterflies

Great!! I now have 8 chrysalides and found this caterpillar on the same section of siding looking very slow and groggy. Let me know what Kevin says.

Mourning Cloak Caterpillar

Checkerspot Caterpillar

Thanks for sending the caterpillar image Catie.  Though it is quite blurry, it does appear to be a Mourning Cloak Caterpillar, based on images in our archive and on BugGuide.  We hope to hear back from Keith Wolfe regarding why your chrysalides appear to look different, less spiny and structurally different.  Do you have an elm or willow tree near where you have found these chrysalides?

We don’t have any elms or willows near by! It is curious.

According to BugGuide:  “Larvae eat primarily willow (Salix spp.) but also other trees and shrubs including Cottonwood (Populus deltoides), Trembling Aspen (P. tremuloides), American Elm (Ulmus americana), Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera), and Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis).”  Do you have any of those trees nearby?

We have quite a few cottonwoods and possibly some hackberry.

Keith Wolfe provides a correction.
Hello Catie and Daniel,
The pictures are less than clear, but nevertheless identifiable as a species of checkerspot, an educated guess being the Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) . . .
http://www.buglifecycle.com/?p=260
. . . which feeds on many different plants in the aster family.  Females lay large clusters of eggs, with some of the gregarious caterpillars eventually choosing the same nearby protected location to pupate.
Best wishes,
Keith

Wow! Thank you! We’ve had a lot of insects around here lately due to the time of year and amount of rain we’ve had. I need you guys around all the time! Frankly, I wish it would get cold so they would all go away  except for the butterflies and chrysalides; I like them!
Catie

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: chrysalis
Location: southern Pennsylvania rural
September 12, 2016 1:31 pm
This chrysalis is hanging above my garage— can you identify it? Thank you !
Signature: Jennifer T

Variegated Fritillary Chrysalis

Variegated Fritillary Chrysalis

Dear Jennifer,
This chrysalis of a Variegated Fritillary,
Euptoieta claudia, is positively gorgeous.  According to BugGuide, the butterfly is sometimes called the Hortensia and “Larvae feed on Violets & Pansy (Viola), Flax (Linum), Passion Vine (Passiflora), Damiana (Turnera), Moonseed (Menispermum), Mayapple (Podophyllum), Stonecrop (Sedum), Purslane (Portulaca) and others. Adults are fond of flowers, and especially seem to like Thistles and yellow Composites. They also frequently visit damp ground.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Florianopolis, SC, Brazil
August 21, 2016 8:39 pm
Dear Mr. Bugman,
I live on the Island of Florianopolis,SC, Brazil. I went out in the garden today and when I came back in I found this psychedelic caterpillar on me. I was fiddeling with a rose bush and a brugmansia. But honestly there are so many different plants in our garden, it could have fallen from anywhere😬. Do you know what bug this is? Today is Sunday August 21st, and the season is winter. But we have a very mild winter and it feels springy already with lots of rain in the last two days after some very dry winter weather.
Thank you!
Signature: Carolina

Owl Butterfly Caterpillar

Scalloped Owl Butterfly Caterpillar

Dear Carolina,
After some research, we are quite certain we have identified your caterpillar as an Owl Butterfly Caterpillar in the genus
Opsiphanes, but we do not feel confident providing a species identification.  Our search began with this similar looking caterpillar on FlickR that is identified as Opsiphanes invirae.  We continued to research and found more similar looking images of Opsiphanes tamarindi on Parasitoid-Caterpillar-Plant Interactions in the Americas.  According to Insects.org:  “Belonging to the same family of butterflies as the famous Owl Butterflies, this Opiphanes genus contains about ten different species which can be challenging to differentiate. This group is characteristically crepuscular, being most active during the dawn and dusk hours and patrolling the dark forest interior so their cryptic coloration optimally blends with the dark shadow. They can be attracted to fermenting fruit bait during daylight hours … .”  We will contact Keith Wolfe to see if he can provide a species identification.  

Owl Butterfly Caterpillar

Scalloped Owl Butterfly Caterpillar

Keith Wolfe provides a species identification:  Scalloped Owl Butterfly
Olá Carolina,
This is an immature Scalloped Owl-butterfly (Opsiphanes quiteria).  It needs to still grow further, so please put it on a nearby palm, which are the natural hostplants.  Here is a short report about your lagarta in Portuguese . . .
http://www.scielo.br/pdf/rbent/v49n3/26596.pdf
Let me know if you would like to see a more detailed paper in English.  Daniel, regrettably the larvae shown at the above “Parasitoid-Caterpillar-Plant Interactions in the Americas” link are all misidentified.
Abraços,
Keith

Hello Daniel and Ola Keith,
Thank you so much! You are so kind! And thank you for the link.  I would love a more detailed paper in English.
I didn’t know where to put it, so I put it in the garden. Now it’s gone. Lots of these Jeriva palm trees everywhere, so hopefully it has found it’s way to one.
Obrigada! Abraços
Carolina

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this
Location: Castle Hayne,N.C. USA
August 11, 2016 10:08 pm
This critter was found in my flower garden in May or June in Castle Hayne, N.C. I am unable to find any info to ID it even though I have seen pictures of it somewhere. Do you know what it is?
Signature: James

Possibly Baltimore Checkerspot Chrysalis

Possibly Baltimore Checkerspot Chrysalis

Dear James,
Can you possibly send another image with a different angle, like a lateral view?  Since it was in your flower garden, are you able to provide the name of the plant upon which it was found?  How large was it?  To us, this appears to be a Baltimore Checkerspot Chrysalis, but something does not look right.  It appears to be either deformed, or damaged.  You can also see this BugGuide image of a Baltimore Checkerspot Chrysalis.

This was the only pic. It was on a cone flower or black-eyed susan. It was small. Less than 3/8 of an inch.
thanks,
James

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