Currently viewing the category: "Tent Caterpillars and Kin"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug Identity
Location: Palmer Tx
April 15, 2016 3:46 pm
These bugs are everywhere . I need to know what kind is it please?
Signature: Does not matter

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Forest Tent Caterpillar

This is a Forest Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria, a social species that often feeds in large groups.  Periodically, there are significant population explosions, and based on this submission of Forest Tent Caterpillars we received last week, this is one of those years in Texas.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth or caterpillar ?
Location: Lake Jackson Tx
April 3, 2016 2:34 pm
Spotted a very large batch of worms on a tree here on the Texas gulf coast,
Wondering as to what they are, moth, caterpillar or butterflies…. Just curious, thanks in advance!
Signature: Curious Rae

Eastern Tent Caterpillars

Forest Tent Caterpillars

Dear Curious Rae,
Your image of a group of Eastern Tent Caterpillars as well as a marvelous close-up of an individual are an excellent addition to our archives.  Folks wanting to make identifications can view documentation of both details of the individual and the group aggregating behavior for the species.  You can find out some wonderful information on the Eastern Tent Caterpillar on the State University of New York at Cortland site devoted to Social Caterpillars maintained by Terrence D. Fitzgerald where it states:  “In terms of complexity of interactions, eastern tent caterpillars stand near the pinnacle of caterpillar sociality. The adult moth lays her eggs in a single batch in late spring or early summer.  Oviposition is limited to cherry, apple and a few other rosaceous trees.  The egg masses contain on average 200-300 eggs. mothEmbryogenesis proceeds rapidly and within three weeks fully formed caterpillars can be found within the eggs. But the small caterpillars lie quiescent  until the following spring, chewing their way through the shells of their eggs just as the buds of the host tree begins to expand.first tent  The newly hatched caterpillars initiate the construction of a silk tent soon after emerging.  The caterpillars typically aggregate at the tent site for the whole of their larval life, expanding the tent each day to accommodate their increasing size. Under field conditions, the caterpillars feed three times each day, just before dawn, in the evening after sunset, and at mid afternoon. During each bout of feeding the caterpillars emerge from the tent, add silk to the structure, move to distant feeding sites en masse, feed, then return immediately to the tent where they rest until the next activity period. The exception to this pattern occurs in the last instar when the caterpillars feed only at night. The caterpillars lay down pheromone trails to guide their movements between the tent and feeding sites. The insect has six larval instars.  When fully grown, the caterpillars disperse and construct cocoons in protected places.  The adults emerge about two weeks later.  Mating and oviposition typically occur on the same day as the moths emerge from their cocoons and being completely spent the females die soon thereafter.”

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Update:  April 5, 2016
Thanks to a comment from Ben, we agree that this is a Forest Tent Caterpillar,
Malacosoma disstria, a different species in the same genus.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae: dark-gray to brownish-black background body color, highlighted by broad, pale-blue lines and thin, broken yellow lines extending along each side” and “Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) has an unbroken cream/white line along its back, and a dark face.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar Tanzania
Location: Ndutu, Tanzania
March 29, 2016 5:47 am
This large caterpillar c 9cm was found on the ground in the Ndutu area of Serengeti in Tanzania in February. The area was grassland and acacia woodland.
Is it possible to identify it please?
Signature: Mary Berry

Lappet Moth Caterpillar we believe

Lappet Moth Caterpillar we believe

Dear Mary Berry,
We believe this is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar from the family Lasiocampidae.  There is a similar looking image from South Africa on iSpot.

So many thanks for amazingly quick response!   Now scolling through Lappets.
Thanks again Mary

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Elizabeth Preger here!
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
March 20, 2016 9:56 am
I came across this beautiful caterpillar several years ago in Bangkok, Thailand. It was during the monsoon season and I found this creature crawling on the sidewalk during a dry day. I was struck by it’s bright yellow color, but had no idea what it was.
What is it bugman?
Signature: Your favorite model

Rose Myrtle Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Rose Myrtle Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Elizabeth,
It did not take long for us to find a matching image on the Thailex website identifying this as a Rose Myrtle Lappet Moth Caterpillar, and the description that it has  ” black and yellow bands, an orangey head and legs, with some yellow markings, and some pale blue spots on the black bands. The hairs on the body are mostly whitish, yet there are two characteristic black-coloured bristles of long hairs at either side of the head.”  Searching with that common name, we found the scientific name
 Trabala vishnou on Project Noah, and we are curious if the species name relates to the Hindu deity.  The Nature and More website also has an image of the adult moth.
Now regarding your signature, you place us in a difficult position with your claim that you are our favorite model.  If we confirm that claim, then that might place us in the doghouse with other models, so we will refrain from the superlative, but we cannot deny that your ease and willingness before the camera jumpstarted our recent renaissance in both photography and film, and that photographs of you are among the best we have produced in recent years.  Thank you for being a muse.

Rose Myrtle Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Rose Myrtle Lappet Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Big boy caterpillar
Location: Albany, Western Australia
January 11, 2016 6:05 am
Hi bug man!
Just found this beauty romping around in my Spanish moss and no one can figure out what it is!
What is he?!?!
Signature: Curious caterpillar carer

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Dear Curious Caterpillar Carer,
Your caterpillar has two fleshy, forward facing horns that should make identification somewhat easy.  We believe we have correctly identified your caterpillar as
Entometa fervens, the Common Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar, thanks to the Butterfly House website where it is described as:  “The caterpillar has a prominent projection on the back near the posterior end, and a pair of fleshy filaments behind the head. It is solitary, and feeds at night on a variety of Gum Trees” , but we would not discount it being another member of the genus.  The Spotted Gum Moth caterpillar, Entometa guttularis, is described on Butterfly House as being:  “The Caterpillars of this species are brown. sometimes mottled, and sometimes plain brown. The caterpillars have a pair of erectable fleshy howns behind the head, and a floppy knob on the tail. The caterpillars have been recorded feeding on the foliage of of various members of Myrtaceae.”  It is described on iNaturalist as being:  “a large fleshy Caterpillar with soft downy hairs. The caterpillar has a prominent projection on the back near the posterior end, and a pair of fleshy filaments behind the head.”

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Gum Snout Moth Caterpillar

Hi Daniel,
Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to my msg,
He must of been very happy indeed in my air plant because now I’ve got a cocoon
How exiting!
Cheers mate
-Sally

Yeah no worries, hopefully I’ll catch him hatching that’d be great!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown Caterpillar
Location: Independence MO (KCMO area)
July 3, 2015 6:52 pm
My family and I found this guy on our hosta plant leaf tonight (July 3rd). I’ve spent all night searching the internet looking for WHAT kind of caterpillar it is and have found nothing even similar! Can you please help?!?
Signature: Joey Phillips

Possibly Tolype Caterpillar

Possibly Tolype Caterpillar

Dear Joey,
This is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, probably in the subfamily Macromphaliinae, and possibly a Large Tolype,
Tolype vellada, based on this image posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of a variety of broadleaf trees and shrubs. Wagner lists ‘apple, ash, aspen, basswood, beech, birch, cherry, oak and other woody plants.'”  Do any of those trees grow near your Hosta?  Hosta is not a host plant and we believe the caterpillar might have fallen from the tree or that it might be searching for an ideal location to commence pupation.

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Daniel,
Thank you so much for your timely response! Very interesting, although I was hoping we had discovered something here! One of our giant ash trees hang over the hosta plants, so that would explain where he may have fallen from. I have not been able to locate him this morning. Please feel free to post, as I was unable to find ANYTHING similar during my wide internet search. Is it in a certain ‘stage’ perhaps?
Joey

This looks like a large individual, and as we mentioned earlier, it may be looking for a location to pupate.

Lappet Moth Caterpillar may be Large Tolype

Lappet Moth Caterpillar may be Large Tolype

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination