Currently viewing the category: "Cutworms and Owlet Caterpillars"
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Subject: Possible Silkworm or Hornworm?
Location: Marquette, MI
June 23, 2016 5:03 pm
I had come across a very plump caterpillar when letting my dogs outside. It was on a beach tree, and looked to be in the process of forming a chrysalis, as it was hanging upside-down. It was/ is approximately between 1- 2 long, and is green. It’s face is also green, and has: a continuous white stripe on each side of its body; yellow dashes on it’s back; and three prominent yellow dashed lines going down it’s back. It does have a tail, and has an end that looks similar to a tail-less Silkworm and/ or Hornworm. Overall, this Caterpillar seems to have a build similar to a Silkworm and Hornworm.
I live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which mostly consists of rain forests, and is surrounded by Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron. Because of these factors, we get a lot of bugs
Signature: – Sam

Humped Green Fruitworm

Humped Green Fruitworm

Dear Sam,
This is neither a Silkworm nor a Hornworm.  This is a Humped Green Fruitworm, the larva of the Copper Underwing,
Amphipyra pyramidoides.

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Subject: caterpillar
Location: pretoria
May 30, 2016 4:53 am
Halo bugman :-)
I found 3 of these on a daisy type flower bush. sorry I’m a keen gardener but don’t remember the plant names. can you identify this and what kind of buuterfly does it become. is it a pest?
Signature: René

Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar

Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar

Dear René,
It was not until we searched through North American species of Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillars from the genus
Cucullia on BugGuide that we realized you were writing from South Africa.  BugGuide describes the caterpillars as:  “usually smooth (hairless) and very colorful, with mixed patterns of spots, stripes, and/or patches of mostly yellow, red, green, blue, and black – the range of variation between species is too complex to describe in general terms.”  We did find an excellent visual match to your Caterpillar on iSpot, but it is only identified to the genus level.  Adult Moths from the genus Cucullia are generally drab and brown, and it seems the caterpillars are the beautiful stage of development.  Your submission will not go live to our site until mid-June while we are away from the office. 

Good morning
Thank you for your prompt reply. I just assumed it’s a South African website. Where are you guys situated?
I asked all of our nurseries in the area and nobody knew that such a beautiful caterpillar turns into such a dull moth. I relocated all of them into the fields close to my house. Now they can leave my flowers alone!!! I’m a very novice gardener and plants EVERYTHING that looks pretty. I did not appreciate these guys ravishing a WHOLE bush in 3 days!!! So far it looks like only the earthworms are welcome in my garden.
Thanks again for the help!
Vriendelike groete / Kind regards
René

Our offices are in Los Angeles, but we are a global website.

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Subject: green caterpillar feeding on Azalea
Location: Minneapolis, MN
May 28, 2016 8:48 am
This morning while picking off azalea sawflies, I found this caterpillar on my “Northern Lights”
azalea . In 15 years of springtime sawfly activity I have never seen a caterpillar like this; on or off an azalea! If you could ID this I would be very grateful.
Signature: Joanne K., Minneapolis

Humped Green Fruitworm

Humped Green Fruitworm

Dear Joanne,
Your distinctive caterpillar belongs to the Copper Underwing,
Amphipyra pyramidoides, and it is sometimes called a Humped Green Fruitworm, according to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are general feeders on leaves of many broadleaf trees and shrubs, including apple, basswood, hawthorn, maple, oak, walnut, raspberry, viburnum, grape, greenbrier (Smilax)” and thanks to your submission, our readers will know to also search for them feeding on Azalea.

Gosh, that was quick!
Thanks so much, he is quite beautiful.
Thanks again.
Joanne K

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Subject: Caterpillar?
Location: Upstate New York
May 26, 2016 5:44 am
We found this under a tree. He is about 2 inches long. His underbelly is green with black spots. There are 2 black ‘spikes’ near his rear end. It is almost June here in Albany, NY.
Signature: Abbie Donnelly

Underwing Caterpillar

Underwing Caterpillar

Dear Abbie,
We believe based on your image and descriptions that this is one of the Underwing Caterpillars in the genus
Catocala, but we are unable to provide you with an exact species.  You may browse through BugGuide to see some similar looking Caterpillars.  Here is a BugGuide image showing a green underside with black spots.

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Subject: Surprise Tenant Larva
Location: Coryell County, TX
April 19, 2016 9:22 pm
Hello, hope you are both well.
I discovered this larva living inside one of the blooming apple-blossom amaryllis plants. Its abdomen end looks remarkably like a snake’s face to me, and its body also resembles a bird dropping when curled. It curled up when I moved it gently to the petals, and when moved back it resumed its head-down, posterior snake-face-showing stance. It has gold iridescent spots along lateral (subdorsal?) lines.
As you can see, it’s eating itself out of house and home. 😀
I tried to match it to known moths and butterflies in our county, but had no luck.
Lots of rain this week, upper 60’s and cloudy.
Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

Cutworm

Cutworm

Hi Ellen,
We believe this is a Cutworm, the caterpillar of an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae.  We have a difficult time distinguishing different species as so many caterpillars in this large family look so similar.  You can try browsing BugGuide to see if you find any likely candidates.  Many species are not terribly particular about what plants they feed upon, which complicates identification.

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Subject: Unidentified Hairy Caterpillar
Location: Houston, TX
April 8, 2016 5:53 pm
4/08/16 – We have just found several of these caterpillars on our Mustang Grape plant. We live in Houston, TX. We have tried to look up the caterpillar in two separate reference books: Caterpillars in the Field and Garden (Thomas J. Allen, Jim P Brock, Jeffrey Glassberg) as well as Peterson First Guides, Caterpillars (Amy Bartlett Wright), without success.
The Caterpillars are devouring the leaves on the Mustang Grape plant quite aggressively. We don’t want to kill them, we are just curious as to what they are. We have had this plant for 18-years and it has never been eaten before. The plant has never produced fruit. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
Signature: Colette Lassberg

Eight Spotted Forrester Caterpillar

Eight Spotted Forrester Caterpillar

Dear Colette,
This is the caterpillar of an Eight Spotted Forrester,
Alypia octomaculata, a species that according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of grape (Vitis spp.), peppervine (Ampelopsis spp.), and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).”  If you are concerned about the survival of the caterpillars but you want to protect your grape vine, you can purchase another food plant and relocate the caterpillars.  The adult Eight Spotted Forrester is a lovely diurnal moth.

Eight Spotted Forrester Caterpillar

Eight Spotted Forrester Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination