Currently viewing the category: "Silkworms"
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Subject: Giant African Caterpillars
Location: Ghana Africa
January 20, 2015 7:07 pm
I found these two beauties in Ghana Africa. They looked quite fascinating so I got a pic. Any idea what they are?
Signature: Don

Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillars

Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillars

Dear Don,
These distinctive caterpillars are Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillars,
Bunaea alcinoe, and they are more typically black in coloration.  This is an edible species.

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Subject: mass of prickly caterpillars
Location: Toledo District, Belize
December 19, 2014 12:50 pm
Hi, Bug Folks,
I’ve seen individuals of this caterpillar in the past, but never masses like this. They are feeding on a common wild shrub called “polly redhead” in Belize. I’ve seen it in FL nurseries as “fire bush”.
So, WTB?
Signature: Tanya

Stinging Silkworms

Stinging Silkworms

Dear Tanya,
We believe these are stinging Silkmoth Caterpillars in the genus
Leucanella, but in doing some research, the only species we can substantiate from Belize is Leucanella acutissima, but we did not locate an image of the caterpillar.  We are going to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can substantiate the species, and since he is lacking images of the caterpillar of  Leucanella acutissima, we suspect he may request permission to post  your images to his comprehensive site.  If this is another species in the genus, he may also want to request permission to post the images as a record of a new species in Belize.  We hope you will grant him permission.

Stinging Silkworms

Stinging Silkworms

Update:  We found some images of the caterpillar of Leucanella acutissima on Bio-Nica and they look correct.

Bill Oehlke responds
Those seem a good match for acutissima larvae. There are a couple of other species documented from Mexico that have not been documented fromBbelize, but I would not be surprised if they are also present
In Belize.

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Beautiful Saturniid Caterpillar

Saturniid Caterpillar, possibly in genus Automeris

Saturniid Caterpillar, possibly in genus Automeris

Subject: Not sure about this little friends
Location: Panama, Chiriqui province
November 3, 2014 7:48 am
Here in Panamá is common the encounters with worms if you live near forest zones. Here two species that I want to know more about. I think the fist one can be a hawkmoth caterpillar and the second one maybe a silkmoth caterpillar. Thanks in advance, bugman.
Signature: KLS

Possibly Automeris species

Possibly Automeris species

Dear KLS,
We agree with your identifications, but alas, we haven’t the time right now to investigate further.  Your images and the caterpillars are both wonderful.  We believe the Silkmoth Caterpillar may be in the genus
Automeris, or a closely related genus. Perhaps one of our readers can investigate this further.  We will also try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he has any ideas.


Hornworm:  Manduca pellenia

Nice pictures of amazing animals!
The Saturnid caterpillar is probably of an Automeris species indeed.
The Sphingid caterpillar is most likely a Manduca pellenia.
Nice wishes from Berlin,

Thanks Bostjan,
We will search for some appropriate links.

Ed. Note November 4, 2014:  Identification submissions to What’s That Bug? can include three attachments and very few folks actually attach all three.  In instances where three images are submitted, we generally only post two.  We are retroactively amending this posting to contain the third image as all three are so beautiful.

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Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Subject: Huge caterpillar found in Costa Rica
Location: Zona Norte, San Carlos, Costa Rica
October 17, 2014 11:10 am
Hi. I live in the Zona Norte in Costa Rica. Two nights ago, I found a huge green caterpillar crawling in our yard. It was 4-5 inches long and about 2.5 inches in diameter. It didn’t appear to have any hair or spines, or, if it did, they were very short. It also appeared to have narrow, yellow bands. The underside was black, I think. It rather looked like the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. In the picture, it’s next to a full size Maglite to give perspective. It made a cocoon the next day. Any help you can provide would be much appreciated.
Signature: Lacey

Saturniidae Cocoon

Saturniid Cocoon

Hi Lacey,
While we are unable to provide you with an exact species, we can tell you that this is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae.
  Adult Giant Silkmoths are often large and spectacular looking.

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Royal Moth Caterpillar

Royal Moth Caterpillar

Subject: strange catepillar
Location: Tucson, AZ
October 9, 2014 8:30 am
Hi there, I woke up today (October 9) my birthday to find this guy wishing me happy birthday on my porch. Actually he was crawling through a semi deep puddle. I watched him go all over, then moved him to the park so my dogs wouldnt eat him. I searched a few sites but couldn’t find a match.
I have been in Tucson, AZ my entire life, 30 years todAy, and I have never run across one of these guys. About 2 in. Long and an inch in diameter. His spikes listen and reflect a silver color. He’s quite awesome and I’m considering it a happy birthday from Mother Nature! Thank you in advance!
Signature: J. Price

Happy Belated Birthday J. Price,
This magnificent caterpillar is a Royal Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Sphingicampa, and just last week we posted another example, also from Tucson.

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Subject: large caterpillar in north Tucson, aAZ
Location: Tucson, az
October 4, 2014 12:28 pm
saw this guy on the patio this morning and I had to take a picture of him. this photos taken in the northern part of tucson arizona on october the fourth around 11 am. average temperature is about 90 degrees. I thought it was a sphingicampa raspa but I’m less than 50% sure on that.
Thanks a bunch.
Signature: neil

Sphingicampa Caterpillar

Sphingicampa Caterpillar

Hi Neil,
You have correctly identified the genus
Sphingicampa, but according to BugGuide:  “Eight species occur in America north of Mexico” and they all have similar looking caterpillars.  BugGuide reports three species in Arizona, including Sphingicampa raspa, and we do not have the necessary skills to say for certain which species you encountered.

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