Currently viewing the category: "brush footed butterfly caterpillars"
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: 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

Subject: caterpillar
Location: Boyce, VA, US
July 21, 2014 10:02 am
Can you help me identify this caterpillar? Found it on some violet family plants.
Signature: Emelford

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Dear Emelford,
This pretty little caterpillar is a Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar,
Euptoieta claudia, and we quickly identified it thanks to this image posted to BugGuide.  The adult Variegated Fritillary is a lovely orange butterfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spiky caterpillar,
Location: central MO, USA
April 28, 2014 7:03 pm
I took a picture of this caterpillar in early September 2006, he was on my tomato plants… I plucked the leaf he was on and put it on a chair so I could try to figure out what he was… never did find out. Here’s the picture, It looks similar to the Mourning Cloak Caterpillar which is on here, but different enough that I think it is a different caterpillar, maybe the spiny elm caterpillar?
Signature: jaelle62

Questionmark Caterpillar

Questionmark Caterpillar

Dear jaelle62,
You actually got quite close with your identification attempt.  We believe this is the caterpillar of a Questionmark,
Polygonia interrogationis, a butterfly in the same tribe as the Mourning Cloak, Nymphalini.  You can compare your image to this image from Bugguide.  Are you growing hops in your garden?  According to BugGuide, the “Caterpillars feed on nettle, false nettle, elms, hackberry, Japanese hops.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What are these
Location: Burkburnett, TX
April 28, 2014 9:43 pm
I have 5 of these hanging in my back patio. Can you tell me what they are?
Signature: Curious in Texas

Mourning Cloak Chrysalides

Mourning Cloak Chrysalides

Dear Curious in Texas,
Do you have an elm or willow tree nearby?  These are the Pupae or Chrysalides of Mourning Cloak Butterflies.  The spiny caterpillars feed on the leaves of elm and willow as well as a few other tree species.  They often migrate away from the food source to begin the metamorphosis process.  Adult Mourning Cloak butterflies are quite pretty with velvety dark wings, cream wing edges and bright blue spots.

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