Currently viewing the category: "Caterpillars and Pupa"
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Unknown catepillar
Location:  Pittsburgh, PA
September 3, 2010 3:34 pm
We found this in the yard in Pittsburgh, PA. ANy ideas as to what it is and what kind of moth/butterfly it will turn into?
signature:  Wendi Martin

Heterocampa Caterpillar

Hi Wendi,
Though your photo doesn’t show the head, this pattern and coloration is characteristic of Prominent Caterpillars in the genus
Heterocampa just prior to pupation.  BugGuide has good images of the caterpillars in the genus Heterocampa as well as images of the adult moths.

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Io Moth Caterpillar (Automeris Io)?
Location:  Jacksonville FL
September 1, 2010 7:10 pm
Found several of these feasting heartily on one of our Crape Myrtle trees. They are pretty large. We live in Jacksonville FL. I wanted to share this photo with you all and also verify if my research is correct :)

Io Moth Caterpillars

Hi Dan,
Your research is correct and these are Io Moth Caterpillars.  We trust you exercised caution in handling them because the spines can sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Banded Sphinx Moth Caterpillars?

Banded Sphinx Moth Caterpillars

Banded Sphinx Moth Caterpillars?
Location:  Irmo, South Carolina
August 30, 2010 2:08 pm
Dearest Bugman,
Love the website. Just found it the other day. I have been taking lots of pics of dragonflies, but my questions are about some caerpillars I’ve found. The first photo is of two cats on a type of primrose that grows in the water at the edge of the pond. Unfortunately, I hadn’t noticed the cats until after my DH had weed-whacked most of the primroses down, but there are still a few plants left. The second photo is one of the cats after I had brought him inside. I’m keeping it in a plastic bug box for now. I’m feeding it the plants it was on. I thought it would eat more, but there has been frass and the cat has grown and changed color. The second pic shows him now (three days after I found him). Will the indoor temp negatively affect it? It’s about 90 degrees outside and about 70 inside. The last pic is a large (about 3” long) cat that is also feeding on the primroses. I am pretty sure the first pic is a Banded Sphinx moth cat, but not sure about the last one. One of my flowerbeds has petunias and moonflowers and we thought there was a baby hummingbird coming to feed late in the evening, but now we know it was one of the big moths.

Banded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

Hi Laura,
All of your caterpillars are Banded Sphinx Moth Caterpillars,
Eumorpha fasciatus.  According to Jim Tuttle on Bill Oehlke’s excellent website:”In my experience the caterpillars of this species are the most variable of all of the sphingids.”  That statement is supported on BugGuide where many color variations of the Banded Sphinx Moth Caterpillars are posted.  The temperature change from 90 to 70 degrees may slow growth a tiny bit, but it will not have a negative effect on the development of your caterpillars.  Banded Sphinx Caterpillars, unlike the caterpillars of most members of the family which are known as Hornworms, does not possess a caudal horn.  Your caterpillars will appreciate some nice soil in which to bury themselves to pupate.

Banded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bright Pink Caterpillar/Worm?
Location:  Caneyville KY
August 28, 2010 2:39 pm
This little guy was found in Caneyville Kentucky. He is approximately 1-2 inches long, bright pink in color, an orangish face with two little black eyes very close together. I cannot see any legs, so I suppose this could be some sort of grub worm? Any ideas?

Prominent Caterpillar

Hi Ashlee,
We knew immediately that this was a Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Heterocampa, but we needed to browse BugGuide to determine the species.  We are quite confident that this is the Caterpillar of the White Blotched Heterocampa, Heterocampa umbrata, and we even found an identical color match on BugGuide.  The normally green caterpillar changes color just prior to pupation.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Identifying This Caterpillar
Location:  Orlando Florida
August 27, 2010 10:18 pm
Hey Bugman,
I’m a new butterfly student. I’m becoming familiar with many types of caterpillars and all that, but still am struggling with this one. The identification page I use is not available and I don’t yet have the book, ”Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History (Princeton Field Guides)” that Edith suggested to me.
Can you help?
Sincere thanks and I look forward to learning more from your site in the future!

Spotted Oleander Moth Caterpillar

Hi Shay,
It sounds like you are really serious about being able to identify caterpillars.  Get in the habit of noting and identifying the plants upon which the caterpillars were feeding.  This information can be indispensable in the identification process, especially if the caterpillar feeds on the leaves of a single plant as opposed to being a general feeder.  We believe your caterpillar is a Spotted Oleander Moth Caterpillar,
Empyreuma affinis, based on photos posted to BugGuide.  If it was feeding on oleander, then we would be much more certain of the identification.

Thanks so much!!
Actually, the caterpillar was in some privacy shrubs- Viburnum.
I am very serious about it. I have a neuromuscular disease and learning about, raising, and searching for butterflies has been a true therapy. THEN, I just fell in love with it.
Waiting on my book.
Got a new camera.
And my microscope camera should be here in a week. I’ll learn about everything about it that I possibly can.  I want to do this forever. :) Even if my forever ends up cut a bit shorter than was originally planned. :)
I thought the same- or a polka dot wasp moth, both of which rely on oleander. Odd, though, to find it where I did. I found a Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar in there as well… but he was actually eating. This didn’t help much because of the variety in their diet.
Anyway, sorry about that babble fest. Thanks so much for your help!

Hi again Shay,
Thanks for the additional information.  We did a bit more research and we located an online article published by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences that states:  “The spotted oleander caterpillar may be mistaken for the saltmarsh caterpillar, Estigmene acrea (Drury). However, the body of the saltmarsh caterpillar is densely covered with hairs whereas the spotted oleander caterpillar only has tufts of hairs on its body.
”  Your caterpillar has the tufts of hair.  The article also indicates:  “Oleander is the only recorded host plant of the spotted oleander caterpillar.”  That would mean that there must have been an oleander bush near the privacy shrubs.  Caterpillars have been known to travel a considerable distance from the plants upon which they have been feeding before finding a spot where they pupate.  We wish you the best of luck with you new passion.

September 2, 2010
Thank you so much. You are correct, and thank you for doing all the research. I myself did some as well, and after looking on the other side of the fence in the neighboring complexes yard, I found LOTS of oleander.
I appreciate your help so much.
PS- was able to witness a polymepheus lay eggs last night on oak. VERY very excited about it.
Thanks again!!!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Location:  port orange, FL USA
August 25, 2010 4:21 pm
hello, i found 2 larva? maybe in my backyard, and i have no idea what they could be. they are light brown/ beige in color with black spots and have no visible mouth or eyes or any other hole for that matter. one end moves and has a spike-like thing on the tip. the other end is hard. i found them both underground, and they came up when i was doing some gardening, in the afternoon. i would love to know what they are and what they will become.
the green thumb

Tersa Sphinx Pupa

Dear the green thumb,
This is the pupa of the Tersa Sphinx,
Xylophanes tersa, and you may compare your photo to an image posted to BugGuide and you may read additional information on the BugGuide information page.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination