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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: New Caterpillar
Location: Alexandria VA
September 29, 2014 8:37 am
Please help us identify this species, photographed in Alexandria VA. in a suburban backyard.
Signature: Paul Dunay

Luna Moth Caterpillar

Luna Moth Caterpillar

Dear Paul,
Though typically green, this Luna Moth caterpillar has turned orange because it is getting ready to pupate.  The Luna Moth Caterpillar is described on BugGuide as being:  “Larva lime-green with pink spots and weak subspiracular stripe on abdomen. Yellow lines cross the larva’s back near the back end of each segment (compare Polyphemus moth caterpillars, which have yellow lines crossing at spiracles). Anal proleg edged in yellow. Sparse hairs.”

Luna Moth Caterpillar

Luna Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Not a clue what it is.

Location: Natural Bridge, VA
September 24, 2014 4:06 pm
Our family found this “caterpillar” walking across a trail near the Natural Bridge in Virginia. We don’t know what it is. It’s about 5 1/2 half inches long and as big around as a grown man’s thumb.
Signature: VS

Hickory Horned Devil

Hickory Horned Devil

Dear VS,
The Hickory Horned Devil is the largest North American Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can you identify?
Location: Orrstown, PA
September 22, 2014 6:28 am
I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of caterpillar this is? Found it eating one of my pine trees. Can you help me? I am worried about my trees. Please and thank you.
Signature: Lori

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Dear Lori,
This is the caterpillar of an Imperial Moth, and recent taxonomic changes have resulted in the recognition of a subspecies, the Pine Imperial Moth,
Eacles imperialis pini, with a caterpillar that feeds exclusively on conifers.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed exclusively on conifers, mainly White Pine and Red Pine; also recorded on Jack Pine, Scotch Pine, and White Spruce” and “uncommon and local in Ontario; rare and local in Quebec and elsewhere within its range.”  Unless they are so plentiful as to defoliate plants, caterpillars are generally not much of a problem when they feed on trees.  The few leaves, or in your case the few needles, that are lost do not have a negative impact on the health of the trees.

Thank you very much. I feel much better.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug
Location: West Viriginia
September 20, 2014 11:42 am
I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of bug this is. Found it crawling out of the ground. Can you help me. Please and thank you.
Signature: Bobbi

Hickory Horned Devil

Hickory Horned Devil

Hi Bobbi,
This is a Hickory Horned Devil, the largest North American Caterpillar, and despite its fearsome appearance, it is perfectly harmless as it neither stings nor bites, and it is not venomous or poisonous.  We typically receive numerous reports of sightings in the late summer and early fall, but this year we have received very few reports.  Since this individual was on the ground, we assume it was searching for a likely spot to dig beneath the surface to begin pupation.  The adult Hickory Horned Devil is the spectacular Royal Walnut Moth.

Thank you for the information. I was wondering because my husband and a couple of his friends found it. And they touched it so we was hoping it wasn’t poisonous. Will they live if it had been moved. They didn’t want to kill it and it was near a dead tree they was cutting on.

Your husband and his friends will live.  Relocating the Hickory Horned Devil should not have a negative impact on its survival.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this
Location: Charlotte, NC
September 6, 2014 8:55 am
Found this caterpillar near my oak tree. It is as round as my thumb which is a size 8 and about 3″ long or more. The photo in Mason jar does not give it justice. I have mist grass and leaves in the jar. Small eggs are on it.
Signature: PG Forney

Hickory Horned Devil

Hickory Horned Devil

Dear PG Forney,
Had you captured a less distinctive caterpillar, attempting an identification through this distorted glass bottle probably would have been impossible, but the red horns of this Hickory Horned Devil are clearly visible.  Hickory Horned Devils ” feed on leaves of ash, burning bush, butternut, cotton, gum, hickory, lilac, pecan, persimmon, sumac, sycamore, and walnut” according to BugGuide, so unless you add some of those to the jar instead of the grass, it will surely starve unless it is preparing to pupate.  Often caterpillars leave the plants they are feeding upon when the time for metamorphosis nears.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Orange Grub in woodsy area
Location: Woods in Adirondack Mtns. near Saranac Lake, NY
September 1, 2014 9:50 am
This grub was found while camping in the woods near a pond in the Adirondacks in northern New York a few days ago. It’s color was what stood out the most. Its legs had super suction capabilities and it crawled around the ground at a very fast paced. I almost think it’s a Scarab Beetle Grub but the color doesn’t match most. We watched the grub crawl across the ground, up a dead tree stump and come down the other side. It found it’s way to an area of the ground covered in pine needles, dead leaves, twigs. It looked like it was going into some sleep mode where it began to coil into itself, covering itself with the surroundings on the ground. As time went on it looked as if it cacooned itself in a hard sticky shell covered by the leaves, twigs, and pine needles. Left before seeing what happened after. Thought it was a very interesting little bug.
Signature: Lauren

Luna Caterpillar ready to Pupate

Luna Caterpillar ready to Pupate

Hi Lauren,
This is a Luna Moth Caterpillar, and it has turned from green to orange as it is ready to pupate, a transformation that you observed.  Many people agree that the Luna Moth is one of the loveliest North American moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination