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

Subject:  Successful Identification
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
August 21, 2014
Tobacco hornworm according to whats that bug! Can’t believe how much it likes hot peppers. There were two of them and they decimated the leaves and chomped a couple of hot peppers. Yuck.
That was a big ugly bug! I’m glad it’s identified, but there were two of them. What if there are more?!?
Sent from outer space.

Tobacco Hornworm

Tobacco Hornworm

Dear Lisa Anne,
We are happy you were able to make use of the extensive WTB? archive to identify your Tobacco Hornworm.  We generally get several on our tomato plants toward the end of the season and we allow them to eat as many leaves as they want, and the do occasionally eat unripe tomatoes, but since we cannot possibly eat all the tomatoes we grow, we don’t fret.  If you find you cannot abide these Tobacco Hornworms eating your pepper leaves, you can try transferring them to native Datura that grows in nearby Elyria Canyon Park.  The adult Carolina Sphinx is a large and impressive moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug
Location: Southampton england UK
August 17, 2014 7:13 pm
My friend found this in her garden and wondered what it was and if it could be eating her fushias
Signature: Liz

Found it i think. An elephant hawk moth caterpillar

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Liz,
You are correct that this is an Elephant Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Deilephila elpenor, and according to our research on UK Safari:  “The caterpillars feed on bedstraws, willowherbs and in gardens they feed on fuchsias.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillars on the march
Location: Northern Arizona
August 17, 2014 5:36 pm
This afternoon we discovered thousands (no, I’m not kidding -THOUSANDS-) of these caterpillars
traveling south across our property. Of course we went straight to the garden to see if that’s where they were coming from, but they were coming right through the fence from the State Land Trust to the north of us! Some of them were nibbling on leaves near the chicken pen, but none of them bothered any of the plants in the garden. We scooped up a bunch of them for this photo and then tossed them to the chickens. The chickens were not impressed.
We’re in Prescott, AZ at about 5,000 ft elevation in oak-chapparal country.
Signature: gnatknees

Population Explosion of Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars

Population Explosion of Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars

Dear gnatknees,
These are caterpillars of the Whitelined Sphinx,
Hyles lineata, and they go through periodic cycles that include occasional population explosions in the desert regions of the American southwest.  The last major population explosion we received visual documentation of was in 2007.  Earlier this year, we received a request from a PhD candidate from the University of Arizona to report any masses of caterpillars, and if you are so inclined, you can email cfrancois@email.arizona.edu and make a report.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth
Location: North America. Missouri
August 15, 2014 12:58 pm
What type if moth will emerge? How long will it take?
Signature: Thank you Rebecca Byrne

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars

Hi Rebecca,
If possible, please let us know which plant these Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars were feeding upon.  This is a highly variable caterpillar, and in addition to green individuals like the ones you submitted, some Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars are yellow and some Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars are black.  This is an edible species of caterpillar and it is found in all 48 continental states.  We are curious about the food plant as there is such a large variety of plants that can serve as larval foods.  Whitelined Sphinxes are especially numerous in the American southwest, and some years see tremendous explosions in the population numbers of both the larvae and the adults.  Whitelined Sphinxes are large and very pretty moths that are frequently attracted to lights.  We cropped your second image to show a fresh pupa on the right and a caterpillar nearing the moment of pupation on the left.  We expect metamorphosis will be complete within a month, though at the end of the year in colder climates, the pupa may pass the winter and emerge in the spring.

Whitelined Sphinx Pupa (right) and caterpillar nearing pupation.

Whitelined Sphinx Pupa (right) and caterpillar nearing pupation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Belizean coffee caterpillar
Location: Toledo District, Belize
August 14, 2014 7:08 pm
This was climbing on a coffee bush in coastal southern Belize. What is it and what does it turn into? It was only about an inch long.
Signature: Tanya

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Dear Tanya,
This is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae.  Many species in this family will deliver a very painful sting that sometimes also produces an allergic reaction if they are carelessly handled or accidentally brushed against.  We have not been successful in locating a matching image, so the best we can do at this time is to provide the family
.

Dear Daniel,
Many thanks for this very speedy response.  We have seen quite a number of different stinging caterpillars here over the years, but never this one.  Not only can one be stung by spiny caterpillars, but also by brushing against the cocoons which also have stinging hairs.  No one has had an allergic reaction (thank goodness), but it’s good to be aware that it can happen.
Sincerely,
Tanya

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: catepillar
Location: Woodstock Vermont
August 12, 2014 5:43 pm
what kind of a catepillar is this
Signature: Jae

Luna Moth Caterpillar

Luna Moth Caterpillar

Dear Jae,
This is a Luna Moth Caterpillar, which is described on BugGuide as:  “Larva lime-green with pink spots and weak subspiracular stripe on abdomen. Yellow lines cross the larva’s back near the back end of each segment (compare Polyphemus moth caterpillars, which have yellow lines crossing at spiracles). Anal proleg edged in yellow.(2) Sparse hairs.”
  The very similar looking Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar is described on BugGuide as being:  “Larva: body large, bright green, with red and silvery spots below setae, and oblique yellow lines running through spiracles on abdomen; diagonal streak of black and silver on ninth abdominal segment; head and true legs brown; base of primary setae red, subdorsal and lateral setae have silver shading below; end of prolegs with yellow ring, and tipped in black”

Thank you oh so very much… I will support you and your effort it is worth it  JAE

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination