Subject: Black and White Herringbone Caterpillar
Location: Western Massachusetts
July 21, 2014 8:12 am
We found this guy in our native butterfly garden and after researching with fields guides, we still can’t seem to figure him out. We found it around aster and nettles and various native plant species. It likes to coil up like it is pictured.
Thanks so much!
Signature: Project Native
Dear Project Native,
We have delayed posting your images while we unsuccessfully attempted to identify your Caterpillar. Our best guess is that this might be an Owlet Caterpillar closely related to the Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillars in the genus Cucullia, which feed on asters, but none of the examples posted to BugGuide look exactly like your individual. According to BugGuide, the larvae are: “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.” Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.