Currently viewing the category: "moth caterpillars"
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Subject: A caterpillar that I have not seen before!
Location: Southwest Michigan
August 25, 2016 8:48 pm
I found this caterpillar near my garage door while trimming my fire bushes. I live in southwest Michigan, and it is mid August. My father in-law is a retired middle school science teacher with a vast knowledge of insects and birds who believes it is related to the tomato eating caterpillar of the Sphinx variety, but I wanted more certainty. Could you help?
Signature: Curiously, Sang Park

Hermit Sphinx Caterpillar

Hermit Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Sang Park,
Your father-in-law is correct that this is a Sphinx Caterpillar in the family Sphingidae.  We believe we have correctly identified it as a Hermit Sphinx Caterpillar,
Lintneria eremitus, thanks to images of the Sphingidae of the Americas site where it states:  “Larval hosts are various species of beebalm (Monarda fistulosa), mints (Mentha), bugleweed (Lycopis), and sage (Salvia).”  Were any of those plants nearby?  It may be easier to verify the identification by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big bug
Location: Gainesville, Florida
August 21, 2016 11:18 am
This bug moved like a caterpillar, it moved quick.
It was 5″ long and very fat. I did not kill it.
Signature: Curious

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Dear Curious,
This Imperial Moth Caterpillar is most likely looking for a place to dig beneath the surface to pupate.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Central Pennsylvania
August 21, 2016 4:20 pm
I found this caterpillar on a sidewalk in central PA today, August 21 . I’m not sure what it is, Can you help identify it? I am thinking it’s a moth larvae, but not sure what kind.
Thanks!
Signature: Dana

Heterocampa Catepillar

Heterocampa Catepillar

Dear Dana,
This is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar and we strongly suspect it is in the genus
Heterocampa.  The genus Heterocampa contains many similar looking species, but this BugGuide image of Heterocampa umbrata looks very close.  According to BugGuide:  “The larvae feed on oaks (Quercus). Two generations per year in much of range, multiple generations in Florida.”

Thank you! I thought Heterocampa too when I was searching, but wasn’t sure which species. I’m glad to know that oaks are a host. Now I now where to return it to.

Judging by the color, we believe it is pre-pupal, meaning it is not longer needing to eat, and it is searching for a suitable location to pupate.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What Type of Caterpillar Is This??
Location: Columbus, Ohio
August 20, 2016 6:57 am
Dear Mr. Bugman,
I’ve seen tons of caterpillars around my house recently but I’ve never seen any like this one. What type of caterpillar is this??
Signature: Samantha

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Samantha,
Do you have milkweed plants growing near your house?  We believe this is a Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Euchaetes egle, and it feeds on milkweed.  Though it seems lighter in color to individuals on our site, it does match this BugGuide image pretty closely.

That looks exactly like it, thank you!!

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Subject: Cuckoo for caterpillars (Food Chain)
Location: Louisa Co., Virginia, USA
August 17, 2016 10:24 am
I have a 9-year-old honeylocust which this year has the most glorious infestation of some apparently delicious caterpillars. I am an avid birdwatcher and have contented myself with mostly listening for the shy, elusive cuckoos that appear in my yard every year. However, for the past week they have not been able to stay away from this tree and the buffet the caterpillars are providing – as many as 3 cuckoos hanging around gorging themselves just outside my door. I’m not concerned about the tree – just a bit of minor defoliation, and it’s late in the season – but I sure hope that whatever bug this is decides to come back from now on so I can get such fantastic views of yellow-billed cuckoos!
Signature: Winston B

White Flannel Moth Caterpillar

White Flannel Moth Caterpillar

Goodness, Gracious Winston,
This one proved to be a far greater challenge to us than we anticipated.  We recall having identified this distinctive caterpillar species in the past, and we were relatively certain it was a Flannel Moth Caterpillar, so we searched our own archive.  We looked at hundreds of old postings, beginning with Asps and Flannel Moth Caterpillars, but we could not locate it.  We eventually found it on Walter Reeves Venomous (Poisonous) Caterpillars site where it is identified as a White Flannel Moth Caterpillar.  We then returned to our own site, but the most recent posting we had of a White Flannel Moth Caterpillar,
Norape ovina, was 2007, and that predated our site overhaul and recategorization method.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar has stinging spines” but obviously, your Cuckoos are unaffected by the spines or venom.  BugGuide also notes:  “Species name ovina is Latin, meaning ‘of or like sheep'” and we suspect that might be a reference to their group grazing behavior.  We love your Food Chain images.

Cuckoo Eats White Flannel Moth Caterpillars

Cuckoo Eats White Flannel Moth Caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Caterpillar
Location: Daphne, Alabama
August 15, 2016 5:16 pm
Hello, I’ve tried in vain to ID this possible looper or inchworm, and hope you can help!
I found several of them feeding on Rattlebox plants on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, Alabama last week. Thanks for any info you can provide!
Signature: Joe Thomassen

Legume Caterpillar

Legume Caterpillar

Dear Joe,
This was a tricky one.  Loopers or Inchworms are distinguished from most caterpillars that have five pairs of prolegs in that they only have only two pairs of prolegs, causing them to “loop” as they move.  Your caterpillar actually has two pairs of prolegs, but it also has appendages appearing to be a horn at the tip of the abdomen.  Some Owlet Moth relatives in the superfamily Noctuoidea have a similar fake horn, so we searched that superfamily, and it is a big superfamily.  We eventually discovered the Legume Caterpillar or Pale-Edged Selenis, S
elenisa sueroides, thanks to BugGuide where it is described as:  “Larva: body cream or yellow with dull reddish or yellow lateral markings and several thin black dorsal stripes; two reddish or yellowish prolegs; two long anal appendages project backward from last abdominal segment; head reddish with numerous black spots.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination