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

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Texas
October 29, 2013 2:07 pm
Found on an oak tree in central texas
Signature: Blake and Brianna

Duskywing Caterpillar

Duskywing Caterpillar

Hi Blake and Brianna,
This looks like a Skipper Caterpillar, more specifically, one of the Duskywings in the genus
Erynnis.  See BugGuide for some photos of the caterpillars.  According to the Butterflies Through Binoculars The West by Jeffrey Glassberg, Oak is a the food plant for the caterpillars of many of the species of Duskywings.

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Subject: caterpillar
Location: Clay City Indiana
June 17, 2013 8:46 am
Found this making a cocoon on a black locust tree. The head is almost separate and lools like two big eyes.
Signature: JS

Skipper Caterpillar

Skipper Caterpillar

I found it in a book by looking up the host plant and checking for pests.  it is a skipper larvae.  Not too interested in which one :)  just trying to decide if it was good or bad.
Thanks!!!!!  Love the website as always.
Jana

Skipper Caterpillar

Skipper Caterpillar

Dear Jana,
We are happy you identified your Skipper Caterpillar without our assistance.  Our research indicates it is most likely a Silver Spotted Skipper,
Epargyreus clarus, and BugGuide indicates:  “Caterpillar eats foliage of leguminous plants, including locust trees, wisteria, alfalfa, and stick-tights.”  This is an underrepresented caterpillar on our site and your photos are greatly welcomed. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillar found in Africa
Subject: Caterpillar found in Africa
Location: Kenya, Africa
November 29, 2011 9:24 pm
I am wondering what kind of butterfly this would turn into, and what the species of caterpillar is.
Signature: Lauren

Beautiful Caterpillar from Kenya

Hi Lauren,
This is just about the most beautiful Caterpillar we have ever seen.  We don’t know what it is but the head reminds us of a Skipper Caterpillar.  Most Skipper Caterpillars we have seen have green bodies, though coloration has very little to do with genera classification.  We actually prefer not to research this at the moment because we want to spend some time imagining what the butterfly (and we really believe this is a butterfly) would look like upon metamorphosis.

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What kind of caterpillar is this?
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
April 3, 2011 12:58 pm
Hi, I’m not very knowledgeable on bugs so I am assuming this is a caterpillar…if it is, what kind is it? Also, would you be able to advise me on which leaves it eats as well?
Thanks Bugman
Signature: Mel

Grass Skipper Caterpillar

Hi Mel,
Since receiving your email a few days ago, we have tried unsuccessfully to identify this Caterpillar, which we believe will metamorphose into a butterfly and not a moth.  Our best guesses are perhaps a Skipper Caterpillar in the family Hesperiidae, a Brush Footed Butterfly Caterpillar in the family Nymphalidae, or a member of the family of Sulphurs and Whites, Pieridae.  Since we have not had any luck, we are contacting Keith Wolfe who often identifies butterfly caterpillars for us.  It appears that this Caterpillar is on eucalyptus or gum.  Is that correct?
P.S.  We just noticed that you are requesting information on what it eats.  Perhaps the gum leaves were your attempt to feed this Caterpillar and it was not found there.  Please clarify.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for your quick reply! I found the caterpillar on a dead leaf of the only tree in the vicinity so I assumed that it ate those leaves, but just wanted to clarify. I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to identify the tree from the leaf that I found. I have attached a scanned image of one of the leaves in case that may help?

Karl provides an ID
Hi Daniel and Mel:
I think this is most likely the late instar caterpillar of a Grass Skipper (Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae). It could be a species of Pelopidas, perhaps P. mathias which is one of two species found in South Africa. Another possibility is the genus Borbo which has at least ten representatives in South Africa. I wasn’t able to find any photos of South African Borbo species, but here is one from the Malay Peninsula and one from Australia. Species in both genera are commonly referred to as Swifts. It may also be some other related skipper – there are lots to choose from and many are quite similar. What all members of the subfamily have in common is that they feed on grasses. Some species are generalists but others are quite specific about which grasses they will feed on.  Regards. Karl

Keith Wolfe concurs
Hi Daniel,
This is certainly a skipper larva — definitely not a young nymphalid or pierid, though the latter are somewhat similar in appearance.  I’m away from home and thus my references, so my next email will be to a South African friend for his firsthand opinion.
Best wishes,
Keith

Keith Wolfe clarifies
April 14, 2011
Mel, Daniel, and Karl: Concerning the subject skipper caterpillar, today I received the below reply from André Coetzer, noted South African lepidopterist, herpetologist, and photographer.
“The skipper larva you sent looks like a Gegenes larvae, but seeing as G. niso, G. pumilio and to a lesser extent G. hottentota occurs in Johannesburg, I can’t tell you which one it is.  I’ve only bred G. niso so I have no idea what the other two’s larvae look like.”
Here is more information — http://books.google.com/books?id=rZK-YmT1KZoC&pg=PT413&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&ots=F_CTZgMmDs&sig=ACfU3U1YetTHb_xS8VOEO0nG6iPXdvdEKw&w=685.
Best wishes,
Keith

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Florida Caterpiller
Location:  DeLand, Forida
July 24, 2010 11:30 am
Hi,
Can you tell what kind of caterpiller this is? It was found in DeLand, Florida on a Pole Bean plant in my garden on July 24, 2010.
Thank you for your help.
Sincerely, Maria

Long Tailed Skipper Caterpillar

Hi Maria,
This is a Skipper Caterpillar in the family Hesperiidae.  Skippers are butterflies, but they are often described as being a transitional family between butterflies and moths.  Many Skipper Caterpillars look similar, as you can see on BugGuide.  We believe it may be a Long-Tailed Skipper,
Urbanus proteus, and we found a nice website called Mike’s Page that details how to raise a Long-Tailed Skipper Caterpillar by feeding it leaves from beans.

Update
Long-tailed Skipper caterpillar sex – male or female
July 24, 2010 1:37 pm
The two orange dots just a little over half way down the back of the Long-tailed Skipper caterpillar indicate that its a male.  With a few species you can tell if the larger caterpillars are male or female by these dots.  Brazilian Skipper’s dots are white.
I recently became a fan of whatsthatbug on facebook and am thoroughly enjoying your posts.
Thanks bunches,
Edith Smith

Hi Edith,
Thanks for this wonderful tip.  It is a new one for us as we didn’t think there was an easy way, other than genetic testing, to determine a male from a female caterpillar of any species.  We also appreciate your compliments.

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Large brown and white spider and cocoon in the making
February 22, 2010
Hi- ….  The other picture was in the same place on the same trip. It was right on the edge of the swamp surrounded by a myriad of cypress trees. There were tons of these cocoons all over, and the leaves they were on were practically stripped (by the caterpillars, I’m guessing). I.D. would be appreciated!
Sammy
Collier County, FL

Brazilian Skipper Pupa

Hi Sammy,
The horn at the end resembles the horn on a Sphingidae caterpillar, but we don’t believe your pupa is in that family.  We wish you were able to provide the food plant as that often assists in identification.  We will post this mystery and see if we get any assistance.

Hi- the plant he (or she) was on is called fireflag, or alligator flag.  Hope that helps.

Daniel,
It does not look like a sphingid to me.
Not even sure if the “horn” is on the front end or tail end.
Bill Oehlke

Karl identifies the pupa of a Brazilian Skipper
Hi Daniel and Sammy:
This looks like the pupa or chrysalis of a Brazilian Skipper (a.k.a. Larger Canna Leafroller), Calpodes ethlius, in the family Hesperiidae. There is a very similar photo on the Bugguide and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has posted an extensive information page. According to the latter site, the larval host plants are Canna Lilies and related species (looks about right from this photo). It is primarily a Central and South American species but has become established in Florida, Texas, and southern Arizona. Somewhat unusually, the horn is actually at the head end. Regards.
Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination