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

Subject: Larvae identification
Location: Southwest MI
August 31, 2016 12:18 pm
I have several tent nests on the Prairie Dogbane (I believe this is the plant, though my MIL says it’s milkweed) growing in my front yard. These are silky nests on the leaf ends of the plants, and they aren’t found on any other plant species in my flowerbeds. The eggs are tiny and dark, almost black, and the larvae are less than an inch in length, orangish in color, with black spots and no hairs. The larvae may still be immature, though there were several sizes in the nests, and these were the largest I found. Can you identify these insects? Are they beneficial or pests? Thanks for your help!
Signature: Val

Dogbane Saucrobotys Caterpillars

Dogbane Saucrobotys Caterpillars

Dear Val,
Thanks for providing the name of the food plant, because we didn’t have a clue about the identity of these caterpillars, but we quickly identified them as Dogbane Saucrobotys Caterpillars,
Saucrobotys futilalis, thanks to this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar feeds on dogbane, Apocynum species, including Apocynum cannabinum (Indian Hemp), and on milkweeds, Asclepias species, including butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa (Maryland Moths). Larvae make conspicuous silk nests on their host plant.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Overcame with bugs
Location: Southeast new mexico
June 5, 2015 6:34 pm
All of a sudden these showed up and within a week how do I get rid of them. In a week they killed a very healthy Spanish broom bush.
Signature: What to do

Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar

Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar

This is a Sophora Worm or Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar, Uresiphita reversalis, and a year ago they defoliated a Golden Chain Tree in our own Los Angeles garden.  The leaves grew back and the tree survived.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar ID
Location: Las Vegas NV, Mojave Desert
November 6, 2014 4:48 pm
Found about 20 of these caterpillars on a Sweet Broom bush in my yard on November 5, 2014. Please help with ID I am stumped
Signature: P Shaw

Sophora Worm

Sophora Worm

Dear P Shaw,
This is a Sophora Worm or Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar.  They feed on broom and related plants
.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Catapillar invasion

Location: Pacifica CA
October 26, 2014 2:42 pm
I have been invaded by hundreds of these catapillars around the outside of my house … Can you please give me some info on these critters – thanks !
Signature: Gina

Genista Broom Caterpillar

Sophora Worm

Hi Gina,
Your caterpillar is known as a Sophora Worm, the larval form of the Genista Broom Moth,
Uresiphita reversalis, and you can verify our identification by viewing this matching image on BugGuideAccording to Bugguide:  “‘Sophora Worm’ is reference to the native host genus: Sophora.  ‘Genista Broom Moth’ is an odd common name for a native North American moth as Genista (common name of ‘broom’) is an Old World genus, family Fabaceae.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Larvae feed on Acacia, Baptisia, Genista, Lupinus, Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) and other pea family shrubs. Also reported on Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) and honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.)” so we are speculating that one of those plants might be growing in your yard.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillars defoliate Golden Chain Tree
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Saturday, June 28, 2014 2:33 PM
Several years ago, Mom gave us some tiny seedlings from the Golden Chain Tree,
Laburnum anagyroides, that she has growing in her yard in Ohio.  See GoBotany for images of the Golden Chain Tree.  Well, for many years they have languished, growing very slowly.  Earlier in the week, we noticed brown leaves on the largest one, now grown to about four feet in height.  Caterpillars were feeding on the leaves, skeletonizing them, and spinning loose webs.  We suspect this is some caterpillar in the Ermine Moth superfamily Yponomeutidae, and we thought we might be getting close when we discovered this BugGuide posting of the Laburnum Leaf Miner Moth, Leucoptera laburnella, however our caterpillars seem too big to be Leaf Miners.

What's Eating the Golden Chain Tree???

What’s Eating the Golden Chain Tree???

Some similar looking caterpillars include these Ailanthus Webworm Caterpillars on BugGuide and these Ermine Moth Caterpillars from BugGuide.

Ermine Moth Caterpillars perhaps???

Genista Broom Moth Caterpillars

BINGO!!!  The Scenic Hills Nursery has an image of the Genista Caterpillar, Uresiphita (=Tholeria) reversalis, and according to the site, they are:  “A web producing caterpillar that attacks Texas laurel, crape myrtle, honeysuckle, and Laburnum. Larvae defoliate as well as spin webs.”  Now we realized why it looked so familiar.  We have images of the Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar in our archives and BugGuide has a substantial page devoted to it.

Caterpillars on Golden Chain Tree

Genista Broom Moth Caterpillars on Golden Chain Tree

The Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar is also called the Sophora Worm.

Write if you have an idea what these are.

Genista Broom Moth Caterpillars

 

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: caterpillar
Location: Bay area
January 8, 2013 1:12 pm
hi buggy
Tons of caterpillars on a flowering bush in Bay area. Has formed nests or webs. thanks for your help I donated $10.00 on paypal.
Signature: Tom

Sophora Worm

Hi Tom,
Thank you for your generous donation.  We don’t like to think that we devote additional time to the identifying submissions if someone has donated to the site, and generally we don’t even know that they have donated.  In light of your extremely generous donation, we have been obsessed with trying to identify your caterpillar.  We are happy you mentioned that the caterpillars formed webs, as that was very helpful.  Knowing the plant upon which the caterpillar or other insect is feeding is usually a tremendous advantage when it comes to identification.  Though we recognized this caterpillar as something we had somewhere in our archives, with nearly 16,000 posts, it is sometimes very difficult for us to find old postings when we cannot remember the name.  We found a match to your caterpillar on the Yard and Garden News of the University of Minnesota Extension website and it was identified as a Genista Broom Moth caterpillar,
Uresiphita reversalis.  The site states:  “An interesting caterpillar has been found apparently for the first time in Minnesota in several areas of the state. A genista broom moth caterpillar, Uresiphita reversalis, is about one inch long when fully grown. It’s a pretty insect with a black head with white markings and a slender yellowish green or mustard colored body. There is a series of black and white colored tubercles (raised spots) running down its body with white hairs coming out of them.  When gardeners have discovered this insect in Minnesota, it has been feeding on false indigo, Baptisia. According to BugGuide this caterpillar has also been reported to feed on “Acacia, Genista, Lupinus, Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) and other pea family shrubs as well as Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) and honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.).”  According to BugGuide, the caterpillar is called a Sophora Worm and this excellent explanation of the common names is provided:  “‘Sophora Worm’ is reference to the native host genus: Sophora.  ‘Genista Broom Moth’ is an odd common name for a native North American moth as Genista (common name of “broom”) is an Old World genus, family Fabaceae.   Numerous species of broom have been introduced into North America, some of which have become noxious invasives such as common broom (Cytisus scoparius), French broom (Genista monspessulana) and Spanish broom (Spartium junceum).”  Once we had the name and family, it was easy enough to locate our own 2005 archival image of a Genista Broom Moth Caterpillar.

hi Daniel
Thank you so much. I think you are too humble! $5 (what the default was for Paypal) is very inexpensive for the service! Don’t sell yourself short. I think there might be a little business in there if you develop the website with a simple drop down menu questionnaire e.g. tents, no tents, geographic area, etc , include picture and ask for $5.
Thanks so much again.
Tom Barnett

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination