Currently viewing the category: "Silkworms"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: New Otleans caterpillar
Location: New Orleans
May 1, 2016 2:04 pm
We’re walking down a sidewalk in the Garden District of New Orleans and there are tons of these caterpillars falling out of a tree. One got on my friend’s sock and when she pulled it off, she got stung. Any clues what it is?
Signature: Joelle

Buckmoth Caterpillar

Buckmoth Caterpillar

Dear Joelle,
Thanks so much for resubmitting using our standard form.  It really helps us to format postings correctly.  This is a Buck Moth Caterpillar in the genus Hemileuca, and many caterpillars in the genus look similar.  This is most likely
Hemileuca maia, a species found in much of eastern North America.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution, caterpillars can inflict painful sting.”  Since they were falling from the trees, they are most likely getting ready to pupate.  Adult Buck Moths emerge and fly in the autumn.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Photos African Emperor Caterpillars
Location: Pietermaritzburg. Kwa Zulu Natal
March 7, 2016 8:53 am
Found these climbing my Cabbage tree Sunday morning. Poor tree is now completely stripped
Signature: George Roberts

Cabbage Tree Emperor Caterpillar

Cabbage Tree Emperor Caterpillar

Dear George,
We are going back through unanswered mail from March to post submissions we think our readership may find interesting.  Though your tree has been stripped of leaves by these Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillars, the leaves will grow back and the tree will survive.  You can always eat the caterpillars.

Cabbage Tree Emperor Caterpillars

Cabbage Tree Emperor Caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Caterpillar
Location: Juiz de Fora-MG – BRAZIL
March 6, 2016 7:43 am
Hello Mr. Bugman, How are you? I´m fine. Today I´m sending this beautiful caterpillar that I found feeding of Heliocarpus appendiculatus. I don’t know if it is Arsenura orbignyana, but I´m accompanying the cycle finish. What is your opinion?
Thanks so much. Greetings from Brazil! Marcelo Brito
Signature: Marcelo Brito de Avellar

Giant Silkworm: Arsenura species we believe

Giant Silkworm: Arsenura angulatus

Dear Marcelo,
These are gorgeous images of a positively gorgeous caterpillar that is probably from the family Saturniidae.  Upon doing some research on the genus
Arsenura, images available online look quite similar, including these images of Arsenura drucei on Caterpillar Eyespots.  The closest match we could find is of Arsenura angulatus pictured on FlickR.  An even closer match is a poor quality image of Arsenura xanthopus pictured on the World’s Largest Saturniidae site.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to get his opinion, and we suspect he may request permission to post your excellent images that document at least two instars.  The earlier instar possesses the caudal horn, which is shed during molting, leaving a caudal bump, a phenomenon that is common in some Hornworms from the family Sphingidae.

Giant Silkworm: Arsenura species we believe

Giant Silkworm: Arsenura angulatus

Bill Oehlke Responds
Daniel,
I am pretty sure they are Arsenura xanthopus. I do not think there is such a species as Arsenura ungulates. I think ungulates is a term for hooved animals that travel in herds, and probably the term ungulates was used in reference to prominent false legs or that these often travel and feed in large groups. Thanks.  I realize it is extra work for you, but having dates and food plant are often very useful. Sometimes the local residents know the foodplant, and that is very useful information to anyone who wants to try to rear this species. Sometimes it can also help with ids.
Thanks for thinking of me
Bill

Thanks Bill,
We suspect our email program autocorrected “angulatus” into “ungulates” and the food plant was listed as
Heliocarpus appendiculatus.

Daniel,
Yes, I think they are of Arsenura angulatus, probably 4rth and 5th instars. Thanks for the fodplant. I figured out there must have been a mistake with the spelling after I hit the send button.
Bill

Giant Silkworm: Arsenura species we believe

Giant Silkworm: Arsenura angulatus

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scary looking caterpillar
Location: Gisuru, Ruyigi, Burundi
February 14, 2016 4:51 pm
Hey Bugman!
Any idea what this caterpillar is and what it may turn in to?! Seen in Gisuru, Ruyigi province of Burundi this evening, just hanging around outside the house … is it dangerous?!
Thanks!
Signature: Clare

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Clare,
This is one of the Giant Silkmoth Caterpillars in the family Saturniidae, and it looks very similar to one of the Marbled Emperors in the genus Heniocha, like this individual from the Republic of South Africa or this individual from Namibia.
  We are going to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide any information as Caterpillars from Burundi are not well documented.  Giant Silkmoth Caterpillars are generally not dangerous, though some species have stinging spines.  The spines on your individual are not dangerous.

Bill Oehlke Responds
Daniel,
I think it is probably Gynanisa westwoodi, at least one of the Gynanisa.
Please give me submitter’s name and see if I can have permission to post. I will ask Thierry Bouyer for his opinion as he is more familiar with what is in western Tanzania and therefore likely in Burundi.
Burundi species list is on site, but not linked in the shortcuts section, just linked from the long table of country by country listing. I do not have any heniocha or Gynanisa listed for Burundi so it wil be interesting to hear what Thierry thinks.
Thanks for thinking of me.
Bill

Ed. Note:
Though we could not locate an online image of the caterpillar of
Gynanisa westwoodi, we did find an image of the caterpillar of Gynanisa maja on African Moths and another on Silkmoths and More.

Bill Oehlke contacts Thierry Bouyer
Hi Thierry,
Here is an image of what I think is most likely a Gynanisa species larva from Gisuru, Ruyigi, Burundi.
I do not have any Gynanisa species listed for Burundi, but I am hoping you know some of the possibilities which can be eliminated or would stand as maybe it is.
I think it could be westwoodi, jama, hecqui or thiryi. Maybe you can eliminate some and narrow down possibilities. Maybe something else I have not mentioned???
Bill Oehlke
I have very tentatively identified it as westwoodi.
Thanks for your time.

Correction from Thierry Bouyer
Hi Bill
not a Gynanisa but its is an Athletes (i would say semialba)
Thierry

Hi Daniel,
I do not have any images of Athletes larvae so Thierry’s reply comes as a bit of a pleasant surprise:
Bill

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Blue caterpillar
Location: Chiloe, Chile.
February 4, 2016 5:12 pm
Hello! I was trekking in Chiloe national park, in the great island of Chiloe, Chile, and I find this beautiful caterpillar, but no one could tell me it’s species. I hope you could tell me more about it. Cheers!
Signature: Marcos Nijborg

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Marcos,
We believe your Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar is in the subfamily Hemileucinae, the Buck and Io Moths.  Furthermore, we believe it is in the genus Automeris because of it strong resemblance to the North American Io Moth Caterpillar.  The closest match we could find is the Caterpillar of
Automeris hamata, a species pictured on DeviantArt and found in Argentina.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide any information.

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Bill Oehlke Responds
Daniel,
Larvae of Chilean Saturniidae are not well known. It is one of the Hemileucinae species, and I suspect of Ormiscodes genus based on spinage. There are probably six different Ormiscodes species from that area.
Bill Oehlke

Here is a link to Healthy Home Garden that contains images of a caterpillar in the genus Ormiscodes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Nest Glob in Birch Tree?
Location: Moss Beach, CA, USA
January 8, 2016 3:50 pm
Dear Bugman,
I just discovered this thing in our birch tree. I went up a ladder and took a photo. It is about 4″-5″ tall and about 3″-4″ wide. It looks like it was made with leaves and fibers wrapped around something which are now decayed and attached with little stringy bits at the top and to some small branches. I can’t see an entrance anywhere, but it was up high so I couldn’t see the very top. I haven’t seen any activity going in or out. We are about a block and a half from the ocean, if that helps. I don’t want to cut it down in case it is something that is not harmful. But if it IS harmful, I want it off of there before something creepy, bitey and stingy emerges!
Signature: Christine

Polyphemus Moth Cocoon

Polyphemus Moth Cocoon

Dear Christine,
If you had been located in the Eastern portion of the U.S., we would have been in doubt of the identity of your cocoon, but since the Luna Moth is not a western species, by the process of elimination, we believe this is the cocoon of a Polyphemus Moth.  The caterpillar constructs the cocoon by spinning silk around leaves from the food plant, and sometimes the cocoon remains on the tree and sometimes it falls to the ground when the leaves fall.  We were not certain if birch was a food plant for the Polyphemus Moth, but according to the Auburn University Entomology and Plant Pathology site:  “The larva feeds on the foliage of many species of trees, including oak, maple, basswood, beech, butternut, walnut, birch, yellow-poplar, sassafras, ash, willow, elm, and sycamore. ” 

Hi,
About fifteen minutes ago I sent a photo of a nest in our birch tree.  I think I may have figured it out.  I started searching a different way and found photos of Giant Silk Moth nests which look very like what is in our birch tree.  Some photos show  holes from a woodpecker and I want your opinion on an idea I have.  I would love to see the moth emerge and was thinking of placing a protective netting  cage around it so it still gets moisture and the cold air it needs and then closely monitor it.  It would be sad if a woodpecker found it and ate the yummy moth inside!
Signature: Christine

Hi again Christine,
A protective netting will help keep out large predators, but you will have to remain diligent and check for emergence on a daily basis.  You might be better off letting nature take its course.

Hello Mr. Marlos,
Thank you for responding so quickly.  I am a housewife and am at home most of the time; the birch tree is just 15′ from our front door and I feed the birds out in the garden.  I can keep a close eye on it.  Maybe I can fashion something with a door so if there is a day when I will be gone for a long time, I can keep it open and hope for the best.  I found a website dedicated to raising them and I now have a pretty good idea of how best to keep it safe, but when it hatches, let it go about its mothy business!  I hope I can get some nice photos!
Thank you,
Christine

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination