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

Subject: Carpet Moth/Beetle
Location: United Kingdom
April 14, 2014 2:16 am
Good Morning, Please see photos of bugs collected from carpet with rice like cocoons?? Can you identify what the bug is and what the rice bits are. There are areas of carpet which have clearly been eaten and we need to identify the problem.
Many thanks
Signature: Ashley Clarke

Case Bearing Clothes Moths and Woodlice

Casemaking Clothes Moths and Woodlice

Hi Ashley,
The “bugs” are Woodlice or Pillbugs, and though they might be a nuisance indoors, they are not eating your carpet.  They are attracted to damp conditions.  The rice like cocoons appear to be the cases of Casemaking Clothes Moths,
Tinea pellionella, a species that will eat wool rugs and clothes and we believe that is the source of the damage.  According to BugGuide, the larvae feed on:  “Feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, upholstered furniture, leather, fish meals, milk powders, lint, dust or paper.”  The larvae, not the adult moths, are responsible for the damage.  It appears that one of the cases in the center of your “collection” is a different species in the same family, a Household Casebearer Moth case, Phereoeca uterella, which according to BugGuide:  “feed on old spider webs; may also eat woolen goods of all kinds if the opportunity arises.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Larval cases can be found on wool rugs and wool carpets, hanging on curtains, or under buildings, hanging from subflooring, joists, sills and foundations; also found on exterior of buildings in shaded places, under farm sheds, under lawn furniture, on stored farm machinery, and on tree trunks.”

Many thanks really helpful
Regards,
Ashley

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar in Bocas del Toro, Panama
Location: Bocas del Toro, Panama
April 9, 2014 1:11 pm
Hi. I found this caterpillar in my front yard near Almirante, Bocas del Toro Province, Panama (on the mainland across from Isla Pastor). We’re right next to a mangrove swamp and a rainforest, but I unfortunately don’t know what plant the caterpillar is on. It was spotted April 4, 2014 around 10:00 in the morning. I haven’t been able to determine what type of caterpillar it is, but I do love how it looks like it’s boxings an invisible nemesis!
Signature: Elizabeth

Unknown Caterpillar

Erinnyis species Caterpillar

Hi Elizabeth,
Your photos are gorgeous and this caterpillar is magnificent, and we wanted to post your images prior to identifying it.  Our first thought is a member of the family Sphingidae, the Hornworms which metamorphose into Hawkmoths, and our second guess if family Saturniidae, the Giant Silkmoths.  We tried searching some of the possibilities on the Sphingidae of Panama site, but without any luck, so we have contacted Bill Oehlke who runs that site and who specializes in both Sphingidae and Saturniidae.  We hope to hear something conclusive from his very soon.  In the meantime, we need to get a few more tomato plants in the ground.

Unknown Caterpillar

Erinnyis species Caterpillar

WTB? Contacts Bill Oehlke
Hi Bill,
These gorgeous photos of a gorgeous caterpillar just arrived.  The sighting was “Almirante, Bocas del Toro Province, Panama (on the mainland across from Isla Pastor). We’re right next to a mangrove swamp and a rainforest.”
I tried the Eumorpha in Panama first because of the stubby horn, but many do not include caterpillar images, and I also checked some of the Dilophonotini because the prolegs remind me of a tetrio sphinx.  I thought you might recognize this beauty.
DanielDaniel,
I think yucantana would be much less likely than one of the other Erinnyis species, but I would not rule it out as a possibility.
Bill

Bill Oehlke narrows the possibilities:
Daniel,
It appears to be one of the Erinnyis species. There are many of them in Panama, and they can be quite variable. The anal horn in this genus becomes quite reduced in the final instar.
I believe you are right that it is one of the Dilophonotini. There are other genera in this tribe that also have the stubby horn. I simply do not have images of them for comparison.
Bill

Hi again Elizabeth,
Bill Oehlke agrees with our assessment that this Hornworm or Sphinx Caterpillar is likely in the tribe Dilophonotini, and be believes it is in the genus
Erinnyis, but he does not have caterpillar images of all the species.  The stubby horn and markings on the prolegs are similar the characteristics of the highly variable larva of the Ello Sphinx, Erinnyis ello, and one of the caterpillars pictured on the Sphingidae of Panama site looks similar.  An image on the Government of Bermuda Ministry of Public Works Department of Conservation Services  website Bermuda Conservation page of the Ello Sphinx Caterpillar also exhibits those similarities.  There are also Ello Sphinx Hornworms pictured on BugGuide that look similar.  So, our conclusion, with the assistance of Bill Oehlke, is that this caterpillar is in the genus Erinnyis, and it might be the highly variable caterpillar of an Ello Sphinx, or it may be a closely related species in the genus that is not as well known without images of the caterpillar readily available.

Ed. Note:  April 10, 2014
Thanks to a comment from Bostjan Dvorak, we now believe this is
Erinnyis yucatana, and more information can be located at Sphingidae of the Americas.

Bill Oehlke’s Opinion
Daniel,
I think yucantana would be much less likely than one of the other Erinnyis species, but I would not rule it out as a possibility.
Bill

Thanks! I was having no luck finding pages for caterpillar identification, so this really helps. You guys are awesome and I love the website. I’ll have to ask my husband about the plant as I have no idea what type it is. Once I find that out I’ll post the answer. Thanks again.
Elizabeth

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery caterpillar
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
April 6, 2014 8:54 pm
My friend found this fuzzy black caterpillar, took it inside and it formed a cocoon! I’m sorry but I can only show a picture of the cocoon, no caterpillar. What is it, a moth or butterfly? Thanks!
Signature: Tam

Possibly Arctiid Cocoon

Possibly Arctiid Cocoon

Dear Tam,
What we can tell you for certain is that this Cocoon will produce a moth, not a butterfly.  We suspect by your description of the caterpillar and by the appearance of this cocoon, that it might be a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, and the caterpillars of Tiger Moths are frequently called Woolly Bears.  We decided to research the possibilities for a species identification and we found the Moths of Alaska website which contains a photo of the Wood Tiger Moth,
Parasemia plantaginis, but no photo of the caterpillar, though it is noted that “They overwinter in the larval form.”  That would explain your finding the caterpillar in April.  The Wood Tiger Moth is found “throughout northern Europe, northern Asia, and western regions of North America” according to Moths of Alaska.   We did locate a photo of the caterpillar on the Habitas site.  We are not certain the Wood Tiger Moth will emerge from this cocoon, but that is a distinct possibility.  Please get back to us when the moth ecloses, and provide a photo if you are able.  We don’t get many identification requests from Alaska, so we like to give them extra attention when the opportunity presents itself.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hornworm, NOT Tomato
Location: South of Springfield, IL
April 8, 2014 4:56 pm
I found this guy crawling around in the gravel of the driveway. He eschewed leaves from my tomato plants.
He looked LIKE a tomato hornworm at first glance, but instead of one row of eye spots, he has a double row, the top ones being huge and red. It was large, about the size of a tomato hornworm, though marked differently.
I’ve cleaned it up in Photoshop, I was going to post it online (I’m an avid Wikipedian), but wanted to be able to identify it, first.
Signature: Kaz

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Kaz,
Considering the record long and harsh winter we understand you experienced in your part of the world, we find it unusual that this sighting of a mature Hornworm occurred this week.  Since you admitted you “cleaned it up in Photoshop” we are not certain exactly much color and contrast manipulation has occurred, but this appears to be the caterpillar of a Whitelined Sphinx,
Hyles lineata, a highly variable species.  Except for the color intensity, it looks very similar to this example on BugGuide.  We are currently featuring a Wanted Poster from a graduate entomology student who is studying the population explosions of this species that often occur in the desert regions of the Southwest.  Some years the Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars are incredibly numerous.  Native Americans collected them for food and they are popular among modern entomophages.  The adult Whitelined Sphinx, also known as the Striped Morning Sphinx, is our featured Bug of the Month for April 2014 because we have gotten so many reports and identification requests from Southern California this spring.

Oh, no, this was during the summer, I just didn’t discover your
website until now.  Weird, the pics on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyles_lineata look
completely different.  I take it that the wide range of this moth explains why its
caterpillar varies so extremely…I’m in Illinois, a couple of
thousand miles away from those places, and Wikipedia says its range
goes from central America through Canada.

We don’t believe the color variations have to do with location.  Members of the same brood can look quite different, some being black and others green.  We have several examples in our own archive that look similar to your individual, except for the color intensity.  See here and here.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large worm
Location: Near Lanseria Airport. South Africa
April 1, 2014 10:55 am
We discovered this worm in our garden recently.
About 100mm long and 12-15mm thick
Any ideas please?
Signature: Mike A

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Hi Mike,
Do you have an oleander shrub in your garden?  This is the Caterpillar of an Oleander Hawkmoth.

Hi Daniel
We do indeed!
My wife now tells me that it is an extremely poisonous bush!
Our dogs had found the worm and were carrying it around the garden. Fortunately they did not harm or puncture it.
Thanks for responding.
Kind regards
Mike Abraham

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Please do not submit images of similar insects from the internet with identification requests without informing us of the origin of the images.  That wastes our time and the time of our readers.

Subject: A caterpillar that I think is poisonous
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
April 3, 2014 1:28 am
This specific caterpillar has sent me to hospital. I was at school when it had stung me when I had seen it there were no hairs on it. It made my face swell and my left arm doctors say it is not a allergic reaction. Could you please tell me if this caterpillar is poisonous?
Signature: M.Ismail

Stinging Caterpillar

Virginia Ctenucha Caterpillar image from BugGuide

Dear M. Ismail,
Our initial attempts to identify this stinging Moth Caterpillar did not produce any results.  We are posting your image and awaiting input from our readership.  There are many caterpillars that have utricating hairs that can produce a reaction in sensitive humans, and the skin of the face is especially sensitive.

Ed. Note:  Virginia Ctenucha image pilfered from BugGuide!!!
It seems this image was lifted from BugGuide, probably unintentionally, by the M. Ismail in an attempt to identify a different stinging caterpillar in South Africa.  Rather than submitting an original image, we were misled when we were not informed that this image was not taken by the person who wrote the request.  We apologize for any confusion this has caused.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination