Currently viewing the category: "Prominent Moth Caterpillars"
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Subject: caterpillar ID please
Location: Kansas City, MO
December 1, 2016 6:27 pm
Can you ID this caterpillar on a crabapple in the Kansas City area (see photo)
Signature: Dave Tylka

Yellow Necked Caterpillar

Yellow Necked Caterpillar

Dear Dave,
The posture of your caterpillar is a characteristic of the Prominent Moth Caterpillars in the genus Datana.  Your individual looks exactly like this Yellow Necked Caterpillar,
Datana ministra, that is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Early instars feed gregariously and skeletonize leaves.  The larvae feed on Malus, Quercus, Betula and Salix species. Young larvae skeletonise the leaves of their host plant. Later, they feed on all of the leaf except the leaf stalk. They feed in groups.”  BugGuide also indicates:  “A common pest in orchards.”  Crabapple is a Malus species.

Dear Daniel Marlos,
Many thanks for the ID and natural history of the yellow necked caterpillar!  We sincerely appreciate you and your group providing this service to us, the general public.  I will share this lep information.
Thanks again,
Dave Tylka
Native Landscaper

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Subject: Kids and Caterpillars
Location: Central Texas
September 27, 2016 6:45 am
My 4yo found a caterpillar he desperately wants to see turn into a butterfly. I have no idea what kind it is or what to put in the terrarium for it to eat. Can you help?
We live in central Texas. It was found on the ground in some dirt after it rained for a few day. It is Sept 27th. It has been really hot here in the 90-100’s but is now cooling off into the 70’s.
Signature: Little One from Texas

Heterocampa Caterpillar

Heterocampa Caterpillar

Dear Little One from Texas,
This is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Heterocampa, but we are not certain of the species as the members of the genus all look quite similar.  Browsing through BugGuide may help you identify possible food plants.  When it is getting ready to pupate, it might turn a purple or pink color

Daniel
Thank you so much.  We are going to try to let it pupate in our terrarium.  Here is an updated photo of the little guy!

Thanks for the updated image.  Your caterpillar is turning purple right on schedule.

Pre-Pupal Heterocampa Caterpillar

Pre-Pupal Heterocampa Caterpillar

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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.

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Subject: Leaf catepillar bug?
Location: Alaska
August 7, 2016 10:00 pm
Hiking in alaska and this guy was on my shoe
Signature: Alaska

Probably Zigzag Furcula Caterpillar

Probably Zigzag Furcula Caterpillar

This is one of the Prominent Moth Caterpillars in the family Notodontidae, and we are quite certain it is in the genus Furcula.  Though BugGuide does not list any sightings in Alaska, at least three species are reported from British Columbia Canada and BugGuide describes the caterpillars as:  “body greenish-yellow to green with bluish-green or brown saddle in middle of back; anal prolegs modified into pair of long narrow tail-like projections, giving the appearance of a forked tail.”  The Zigzag Furcula, Furcula scolopendrina, is a likely species identification and this caterpillar image from BugGuide looks like a very good match, though other caterpillars in the genus look quite similar.  According to Encyclopedia of Life:  “geographic distribution includes        Alaska.”

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Subject: Unknown caterpillar consuming Indigobush & Serviceberry
Location: Reston VA
September 28, 2015 5:52 pm
Please identify a caterpillar for me and if it’s a butterfly or moth; 3 pictures attached. Many of the same caterpillar are consuming an Indigobush and have moved on to a nearby Serviceberry.
Signature: Margaret Grieshaber

Red Humped Caterpillar

Red Humped Caterpillar

Dear Margaret,
Your Red Humped Caterpillar,
Schizura concinna, will become a moth in the family Notodontidae.   According to BugGuide, Red Humped Caterpillars:  ” feed on a wide range of woody plants, from many different families.”

Dear Daniel – Thank you very much for a quick reply!  Believe we’ll just let it happen and not do anything to disturb them. Thanks again, Margaret

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Subject: Red caterpillar
Location: VA
September 17, 2015 4:04 pm
Pretty guy crawling in the piedmont of Virginia? What is he?
Signature: Bill

Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Dear Bill,
This is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the genus Heterocampa, and this individual identified as a White Blotched Heterocampa on BugGuide looks very similar, though many other species in the genus also look similar.

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