Currently viewing the category: "Cutworms and Owlet Caterpillars"
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Subject: Black and yellow caterpillar
Location: London, Ontario Canada
August 31, 2016 1:43 pm
Hello…
I’m not sure that I’ve seen one of these around here before. Could you please be so kind as to ID it if possible?
Thanks!
Signature: Mike

Paddle Caterpillar

Paddle Caterpillar

Dear Mike,
Commonly called the Paddle Caterpillar, this is the larva of a Funerary Dagger Moth which you can verify by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on leaves of alder, apple, birch, blueberry/huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.), cottonwood, dogwood, elm, hazel, hickory, maple, oak, willow.”

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Subject: Help identify this caterpillar
Location: Cranberry Portage, Manitoba
August 25, 2016 7:05 pm
My husband took this photo of a caterpillar in Cranberry Portage, Manitoba. I’m not sure if its a type of Tussock Caterpillar. Wondering what type of caterpillar and if you have a photo of the moth or butterfly it will turn into. This photo was taken in August 2016. Thank you :)
Signature: Wildlife Lover

Fingered Dagger Caterpillar

Fingered Dagger Caterpillar

Dear Wildlife Lover,
We are certain your caterpillar is that of the Fingered Dagger Moth,
Acronicta dactylina, based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on alder, birch, poplar, hawthorn, willow.”

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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.”

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Subject: Caterpillars
Location: Anvik, Alaska
June 24, 2016 3:32 am
Hello im from Alaska and we just noticed all these caterpillars everything eating up all the leaves off of willows and trees.. It’s very on common for these to be around here. There trillions of them everything I mean every where. Please let us know if u know what they are. This spring there were millions of Moths flying around that was very weird and wasn’t common at all.
Signature: Kelly Kruger

Sawfly Larvae or Caterpillars???

Sawfly Larvae or Caterpillars???

Dear Kelly,
Alas, there is not enough detail in your images to tell for certain if these are Caterpillars, or as we suspect, Sawfly Larvae.  According to Insects.About.com:  “Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths, which belong to the order Lepidoptera. Sawfly larvae look similar to caterpillars, but are an entirely different kind of insect. Sawflies are related to bees and wasps, and belong to the order Hymenoptera. Like caterpillars, sawfly larvae usually feed on plant foliage.  How can you tell the difference between a sawfly larva and a caterpillar? Count the prolegs. Caterpillars may have up to five pairs of abdominal prolegs (see parts of a caterpillar diagram), but never have more than five pairs.  Sawfly larvae will have six or more pairs of abdominal prolegs*. Another notable difference, though it requires a closer look, is that caterpillars have tiny hooks called crochets, on the ends of their prolegs. Sawflies don’t.  Another, less obvious difference between caterpillars and sawfly larvae is the number of eyes.  Caterpillars almost always have 12 stemmata, 6 on each side of the head. Sawfly larvae usually have just a single pair of stemmata.”  In two of your images, the camera is entirely too far away to see individual detail in these larvae.  In the one close-up image, the largest larva is partially out of focus, and the only other larva that can be viewed clearly is half cut off at the top of the frame.  We wish we could count the prolegs, though it really seems to us that there appears to be six pairs, which would make these Sawfly Larvae and not Caterpillars, but again, the image is too blurry at that critical part of the anatomy that we cannot be certain.  Additionally, we can find no images online of either Caterpillars or Sawfly Larvae that have this particular coloration and markings.  The jury is still out on your identification request.  Can you return to the willows and get a higher resolution, sharper image? or can you count the prolegs and get back to us?

Sawfly Larvae or Caterpillars???

Sawfly Larvae or 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

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