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

Subject: Suspected Eumorpha in Costa Rica
Location: Carara National Park, Costa Rica
July 23, 2016 12:25 am
Though I’m not positive, I think this caterpillar appears to be in the genus Eumorpha judging by its “tail”. I found it in Carara National Park in Costa Rica, where I saw more species of caterpillar than I could possibly count– it was wonderful.
Signature: Casey

Hornworm:  Eumorpha triangulum

Hornworm: Eumorpha triangulum

Hi Again Casey,
We agree that this is a Hornworm in the genus Eumorpha, and after searching through the Sphingidae of Costa Rica, we believe the images on that site of
Eumorpha triangulum Hornworms look the closest to your individual.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Purple caterpillar with pink stripe
Location: Caribbean
July 16, 2016 2:44 pm
Hi, my mum recently spotted this purple caterpillar with a pink and white strip along its body. It has a long stinger on its rear end. It looks similar to the frangipani caterpillar that we also have here. We live in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. Can you help us identify it?
Signature: S.J.

Whats That Hornworm???

Whats That Hornworm???  Isognathus species

Dear  S.J.,
This is a Hornworm Caterpillar in the family Sphingidae, the family that includes the Frangipani Caterpillar, the larva of the Tetrio Sphinx.  We searched the Sphingidae of Trinidad page to no avail.  The horn reminds us of the caudal horn of early instar caterpillars in the genus Eumorpha, and we also wonder if this might be a strange color variation of the Tetrio Sphinx.  We have contacted Bill Oehlke and we hope to hear back soon.  We hope you will allow Bill to post your image to his very comprehensive site.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so very much for your help! Sure he can post the image, that’s no problem.
Regards,
S.J.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What bug is this?
Location: Southern Oregon
July 21, 2016 1:41 pm
Location: Medford, Oregon
Bug: Looks and moves like a caterpillar, but it can pull it’s head into it’s body
Markings: Looks like an eye near it’s tail
I raise Monarch butterflies and it has the same waste product as a monarch caterpillar, so it must be a leaf eater.
Very unusual insect, and quite large, I’ve never seen anything like it.
Signature: Tracy

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Tracy,
The Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar,
Eumorpha achemon, in your image is the only member of its genus found in Oregon.  It is a member of the Hawkmoth or Sphinx Moth family Sphingidae, and the caterpillars from this family are called Hornworms.  The Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar is a little unusual among hornworms because it loses its horn as the caterpillar grows and molts, and all that remains is a caudal bump which you likened to an eye.  This may serve as protective mimicry, and its ability to retract its head, which you also observed, is a defense mechanism as well.  According to the Sphingidae of the Americas site, food plants include:  “Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia creeper, Vitis Grape, Ampelopsis Vines and Ivies” so we are guessing there is one of those plants near where the sighting occurred.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Help Identify
Location: Talbott, Tn 37877 in a 80 year old cedar tree
July 20, 2016 5:04 pm
My daughter recently found this little guy hanging from what appeared to be a spider web but upon further examination could have been its own silk. I have been told that it could be a chameleon worm but I can’t find any info to back it up. Can you help identify please? I would like to know incase my daughter finds another one I can tell her to either stay away or its safe to touch. Thanks in advance!
Bryan Hux
6th Grade Science
Jefferson Middle School
Jefferson City Tn
Signature: Bryan Hux

Unknown Spanworm

Juniper Twig Geometer

Dear Bryan,
Though we have not had any success with a species identification, we can tell you this is an Inchworm or Spanworm in the family Geometridae, and it poses no threat to humans as it is neither venomous nor poisonous.  We wish we could be certain that the cedar upon which it was found was also the host plant as we couldn’t find any similar looking Spanworms associated with cedar.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more success at a species identification than we have had searching BugGuide and other sites. 

Karl finds the ID
Hi Daniel and Bryan:
It looks like a Juniper-twig Geometer caterpillar (Patalene olyzonaria). Despite the name, the principal food for the caterpillars is given as cedars of all varieties. Regards, Karl

Thanks so much Karl.  We like our name “Diamondback Spanworm” since the BugGuide description is:  “Larva: body brownish or grayish with dark angular lines dorsally and laterally, creating a diamond-shaped pattern; whitish patches below angular lines in subdorsal area; pair of black dorsal warts on ninth abdominal segment; head brown and gray with dark brown herringbone pattern on lobes.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Cape Cod, MA
July 16, 2016 3:14 pm
Just curious what this is. I’ve found a few of them this summer on the trumpet vines growing on my pergola.
Signature: Rick

Plebeian Sphinx Caterpillar

Plebeian Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Rick,
Had you not included the host plant trumpet vines, we might have had more difficulty identifying what we believe to be a Plebeian Sphinx Caterpillar,
Paratrea plegeja.  Our usual “go to” site for Sphinx Moth identifications, Sphingidae of the Americas, does not have images of the caterpillar.  Then we searched for the family and trumpet vine and we found the Maryland Insect site with a single image of the Plebeian Sphinx Caterpillar.  There are also images on BugGuide, but the caudal horn is blue and the one in your image looks black.  BugGuide lists the species as “uncommon” and lists the larval food plants as:  “Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans), Yellow Trumpetbush (Tecoma stans), passionflower (Passiflora spp.), and lilac (Syringa spp.).”   We have written to Bill Oehlke who runs Sphingidae of the Americas for confirmation and we hope you don’t mind if he posts your image to his site as well.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: caterpillar
Location: Bulgaria
July 14, 2016 5:55 am
We found this little guy crawling on our balcony. He’s pretty tiny, so maybe his coloring will be different as he grows. We’d like to try and watch him grow, but aren’t sure what he’d eat. We’re in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Signature: Deborah

Hummingbird Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Hummingbird Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Deborah,
This looks like a Hummingbird Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Macroglossum stellatarum, a species that is included on Wild About Britain.  According to UK Moths:  “The larvae feed on bedstraw (Galium), and some of these may hatch and give rise to autumn adults in an influx year.”  According to Lepidoptera and their Ecology:  “In Central Europe every year countless caterpillars are destroyed by excessive mowing of the meadows and roadsides, but this has probably little impact on the migratory species.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination