Currently viewing the category: "Caterpillars and Pupa"
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Subject: caterpillar
Location: Boyce, VA, US
July 21, 2014 10:02 am
Can you help me identify this caterpillar? Found it on some violet family plants.
Signature: Emelford

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Dear Emelford,
This pretty little caterpillar is a Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar,
Euptoieta claudia, and we quickly identified it thanks to this image posted to BugGuide.  The adult Variegated Fritillary is a lovely orange butterfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can you ID this caterpillar?
Location: California, MD
July 21, 2014 1:25 pm
The best I can guess is that it’s a type of brush footed butterfly larva. I’d love to know what type of adult it will become and what it feeds on. The kids would like to hatch it and then release it.
Signature: Laura in SoMD

Buck Moth Caterpillar

Buck Moth Caterpillar

Hi Laura,
While many Brushfooted Butterfly Caterpillars have spines, including the Mourning Cloak Caterpillar, this is actually the caterpillar of a Buck Moth, and considering your location, it is most likely
Hemileuca maia, based on this BugGuide image.  Handle the Buck Moth Caterpillar with care as contact with the spines may result in a painful sting.  The adult Buck Moth, which gets its name because it is usually on the wing very late in the fall during deer hunting season, is a lovely moth.  By the way, we were unaware that there were any cities named California.

Thank you for the helpful ID. Since you mentioned it, California is just south of Hollywood,  MD.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s on the caterpillar?
Location: Southeastern Virginia
July 21, 2014 12:33 pm
A friend has a caterpillar in her garden and she found it like this today. It was fine a few days ago…What in the world is going on with it?
Signature: Crystal

Carolina Sphinx Before

Carolina Sphinx Before

Dear Crystal,
This caterpillar is a Carolina Sphinx or Tobacco Hornworm,
Manduca sexta, and they are frequently found feeding on tomato plants and related plants in the garden.  Your second image documents the results of a parasitization by a Braconid Wasp, Cotesia congregata.  The female Braconid lays her eggs inside the caterpillar using an ovipositor and the larval wasps develop inside the caterpillarfeeding on the caterpiller beneath its skin.  When the larvae mature, the make their way to the surface and spin cocoons, and that is what is shown in the second image.  The caterpillar will not live to maturity even if the cocoons are removed.  See BugGuide for additional information on the Braconid.

Carolina Sphinx parasitized by Braconids

Carolina Sphinx parasitized by Braconids

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What type of caterpillar?
Location: Central Connecticut
July 18, 2014 5:00 pm
Wondering what type of caterpillar these are? Found on milkweed about 75 or so in a group. I’ve seen and photographed monarchs, but these little guys have hair. I didn’t see any eggs and don’t believe monarchs come out in large batches. I know there are limited caterpillars who eat milkweed. Photo taken July 18th in central Connecticut.
Signature: Thanks, Steve

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar Hatchlings

Milkweed Tussock Caterpillar Hatchlings

Hi Steve,
You are correct that not many caterpillars feed on milkweed, and we had a hunch as to the identity of your caterpillars, but we wanted to find documentation to support our inkling.  Though it is a generalization, butterflies usually lay eggs singly while moths often lay eggs in large clusters.  We could telll that these were moth caterpillars, and we suspected them to be Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars,
Euchaetes egle, though we do not have any images of hatchlings in our own archive.  We found an image on BugGuide that matches your hatchling Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars.

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars

Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillars

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: is this a orange swallowtail
Location: Grand Junction, CO
July 19, 2014 9:49 am
what is this? my cat brought this in the house today. I took it away from her and put it back outside
Signature: Tracie

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

Hi Tracie,
You are correct that this is one of the Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillars, which look very similar, and the orange color indicates that it is getting ready to pupate.  Several species are reported from Colorado according to BugGuide, including the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Pale Swallowtail.

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Subject: Moth
Location: Michigan
July 17, 2014 4:13 am
Can you tell me what kind of moth this is? From Michigan and I used to see them a lot when I was a kid. Wing span is about 4.5 inches
Signature: Melanie Wilson

Five Spotted Hawkmoth

Five Spotted Hawkmoth

Hi Melanie,
Your moth is a Five Spotted Hawkmoth, and we are speculating that there is a vegetable patch near where the sighting occurred as the caterpillar, known as the Tomato Hornworm, feeds on leaves of tomato and related plants.  More information on the Five Spotted Hawkmoth is available on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination