Currently viewing the category: "Prominent Moth Caterpillars"
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weird one
Location: Baguio City, Philippines, Southeast Asia
October 12, 2011 1:33 am
Hi bugman. I live in the Philippines and I have encountered this alien-like insect with its upper body being an ant and the lower end is a caterpillar’s. It’s less than an inch long and I got it from a guava tree. Could you please identify this one?
Signature: Reply details through e-mail.

Lobster Caterpillar

The very distinctive Lobster Caterpillar, Stauropus fagi, is a morphologically unusual caterpillar that doesn’t resemble any other members of the Prominent Moth family.  The species ranges across Eurasia from England to China.  This is a young instar that will molt several times, growing after each molt, until it eventually pupates and emerges as an adult moth.

Lobster Caterpillar

Wow. Thanks a lot for the info, sir… I appreciate it.


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4 ’Red Headed’ caterpillars grouped together
Location: Raleigh, NC
September 21, 2011 11:47 am
Hi Bugman,
I found out about you from a guy I work with. And thought that’s so cool!
The other day I saw that one of my azalea bushes was looking a little decrepit. Upon further examination, I saw on a couple of branches, 3-4 caterpillars clumped together on each separate branch. Each caterpillar is 2-3 inches long at least a 1/4 inch in diameter. Mostly black, with sort of yellow stripes and red heads (or tails?)
Signature: Carolyn

Azalea Caterpillars

Hi Carolyn,
Thanks for supplying the information that azalea is the food plant.  Knowing the food plant for a caterpillar makes identification so much easier, though in the case of these Azalea Caterpillars,
Datana major, we have identified them enough times in the past to know what they were immediately.  You can also view the BugGuide information page to learn more about this species that feeds in groups and often strikes a dramatic pose when it feels threatened. 

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i found this crazy caterpillar
Location: Denton, NC
September 5, 2011 10:52 am
Hello.. while sitting outside this crazy thing came strolling by and I just had to know what it was!! Can you help?
Signature: Amanda Presker

White Blotched Heterocampa Caterpillar

Hi Amanda,
This Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Heterocampa is most likely the White Blotched Heterocampa, Heterocampa umbrata.  You can see many examples on BugGuide of similarly colored purple individuals.  This species, like many caterpillars, changes color right before pupation, and the green camouflage coloration is replaced by this stunning purple and magenta coloration.

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Early Instar Unicorn Caterpillar
Location: S. Illinois
August 22, 2011 6:01 pm
Think this is an early instar unicorn caterpillar. Right about an inch long, on oak. This image is a little sharper than the one I sent along last year.
Signature: Bert

Unicorn Caterpillar

Dear Bert,
This does appear to be a Unicorn Caterpillar or another closely related member of the same genus
Schizura based on photos posted to BugGuide.  If it is significantly smaller than the image you sent last year, it is most likely an earlier instar, though we cannot tell scale by comparing the two images.

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Can u help id
August 11, 2011 3:18 PM (13 hours ago)
Any idea what these are?
Kim Carlen

Prominent Moth Caterpillars from the genus Datana

Ed. Note:  Though we appreciate the brevity of texting and the capacity for using cellular telephones for all communications, we created a submission form so we would not have to keep asking the same questions, like the location where the image was taken.  We have written back requesting the location on this image.

Caterpillar id
Location: NE Pa
August 12, 2011 3:08 pm
Can you please help id these caterpillars. They were on a blueberry bush in NE PA. Thanks for your help.
Signature: Kim Carlen

Thanks for resending Kim.  We don’t want to waste time searching North American species if the submission is from Australia, for example.  These are Prominent Moth caterpillars in the genus Datana.  Based on your location, we believe the likeliest candidate is Datana drexelii, and BugGuide indicates that Blueberry is a food plant.  The list of food plants is:  “Birch, blueberry, linden, sassafras, sourwood, and witch-hazel.”

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Location: Clarks Summit,Pennsylvania
August 8, 2011 10:49 am
I found this in the middle of my cousins driveway and i’m not sure what it is.
Signature: Joey M

Traumatized Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Hi Joey,
This is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Heterocampa.  Compare your individual to this image on BugGuide.  It is a typically green caterpillar, and just prior to metamorphosis, it frequently turns pink.  Judging by the unnatural anal discharge, we fear this individual has been traumatized to the point that it will not live to see its winged stage.  It appears to have been squished.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination