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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

Subject: please identify
Location: Harare Zimbabwe
January 6, 2016 10:56 pm
Good morning. Hope you well. Compliments of the season. My friend found these awesome caterpillars on her workshop floor. All of the caterpillars were moved back onto the grass. Please may you help us identify them. Thank you so much.
Signature: Natasha

Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillar

Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillar

Dear Natasha,
This is a Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillar,
Bunaea alcinoe, one of the most impressive African Caterpillars, both because of its large size and spectacular coloration, but additionally, it is often found feeding in large numbers.  The Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillar is edible.

Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillar

Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this??
Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
December 12, 2015 2:05 pm
I dug up this bug in the dirt and I have no clue what it is and I have never seen it before. What is this?
Signature: Daniel

Imperial Moth Pupa

Imperial Moth Pupa

Dear Daniel,
This is a moth pupa, and we believe it is an Imperial Moth Pupa.  Many species of moths pass the winter as pupae, and many of those pupate underground.  The Imperial Moth Caterpillar dug beneath the surface of the soil to metamorphose, and in the spring the adult Imperial Moth will emerge.  Now that you have dug this individual up, you have to decide what to do to have it survive.  You can place it in a container with some loose dirt and keep it in a sheltered location that is unheated, like a screened porch or garage.  Hopefully your individual will survive the winter.  As we are preparing for a holiday trip, we are postdating submissions to go live while we are away, and we are tagging your submission as the Bug of the Month for January 2016 because we feel this is an appropriate species to represent the cold months of winter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillars
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
December 13, 2015 5:32 pm
Dear bugman,
We found 2 caterpillars and brought them home, last weekend they both made cocoons. We’re wondering what kind of caterpillar they are. Any help would be appreciated.
Signature: Dani and Daniel

Calleta Silkmoth Caterpillar

Calleta Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Dani and Daniel,
This is the second red, green and blue Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar we are posting this morning, though the previous submission was from South Africa.  Your individual is the Calleta Silkmoth Caterpillar,
Eupackardia calletaBugGuide includes a long list of caterpillar host plants including:  “The primary Texas host is the ornamental shrub Texas Ranger Leucophyllum frutescens.”  BugGuide also indicates the flight time for the moth is from September to May, and we would expect that your moths will emerge when conditions are right after at least six weeks.  We would recommend keeping the cocoons in a sheltered location where they are exposed to outdoor temperatures as keeping them indoors may cause them to emerge when conditions are less than ideal.

Daniel,
Thank you so much for your help. We are so excited for the moths to emerge! They look lovely. Thank you again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar South Africa
Location: Southern S.Africa west coast near Cape Town
December 13, 2015 1:36 pm
Hi…
Whilst jogging on the west coast of the southern cape in South Africa I found this giant caterpillar crawling across the road. Its colours were truly astounding to me. No idea what species – or even whether it is a moth or butterfly.
Any help would be amazing!
Giovanna
Signature: Giovanna

Pine Emperor Moth Caterpillar

Pine Emperor Moth Caterpillar

Dear Giovanna,
The dayglow red, green and blue colors on this Pine Emperor Moth Caterpillar,
Nudaurelia cytherea, are quite impressive.  Though we don’t normally link to Wikipedia, that popular site states it is:  “commonly known as the … christmas caterpillar due to its festive colouration.”  Your images, including the close-up showing the prolegs, are quite beautiful and they really made our day.

Close-up of the prolegs of the Pine Emperor Moth Caterpillar

Close-up of the prolegs of the Pine Emperor Moth Caterpillar

Wow… That is super cool! Thank you. I sent in another submission of a more mysterious creature – what may be a larval lady bug. Also from Cape Town. I would LOVE to know what you thought of that.
Thank you so very much. This is an amazing service!!!
Giovanna Fasanelli

We forgot to mention that your Christmas Caterpillars are reported to be edible.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination