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

Subject: Red mystery wasp
Location: near Ottawa, Ontario
July 18, 2016 3:43 pm
What is this beautiful little insect? I’m guessing some sort of wasp, maybe a parasitic wasp? I photographed it last week along Cedar Grove Nature Trail near Ottawa, where I see many fascinating tiny insects I can’t identify!
Signature: Suzanne

Ichneumon Stalks Caterpillar

Ichneumon Stalks Caterpillar

Dear Suzanne,
This is an amazing image.  We suspect that the Ichneumon Wasp, which you speculated correctly is a parasitoid, is stalking the Caterpillar.  Caterpillars are a common host to many species of Ichneumons.  Ichneumons are often very host specific, frequently limiting their prey to a single genus, or even a single species.  We are probably not even going to attempt to identify this Ichneumon beyond the family level as according to BugGuide, there are:  “About 5,000 described species in North America, possibly 3,000 more undescribed”  The caterpillar may be an Inchworm in the family Geometridae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Cape Cod, MA
July 16, 2016 3:14 pm
Just curious what this is. I’ve found a few of them this summer on the trumpet vines growing on my pergola.
Signature: Rick

Plebeian Sphinx Caterpillar

Plebeian Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Rick,
Had you not included the host plant trumpet vines, we might have had more difficulty identifying what we believe to be a Plebeian Sphinx Caterpillar,
Paratrea plegeja.  Our usual “go to” site for Sphinx Moth identifications, Sphingidae of the Americas, does not have images of the caterpillar.  Then we searched for the family and trumpet vine and we found the Maryland Insect site with a single image of the Plebeian Sphinx Caterpillar.  There are also images on BugGuide, but the caudal horn is blue and the one in your image looks black.  BugGuide lists the species as “uncommon” and lists the larval food plants as:  “Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans), Yellow Trumpetbush (Tecoma stans), passionflower (Passiflora spp.), and lilac (Syringa spp.).”   We have written to Bill Oehlke who runs Sphingidae of the Americas for confirmation and we hope you don’t mind if he posts your image to his site as well.  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this
Location: Ohio
July 16, 2016 5:14 am
This was found in a garden in eastern Ohio. I’m curious as to what it is.
Signature: Ron

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar

Dear Ron,
This is the Caterpillar of a Spicebush Swallowtail, and it is widely accepted that the caterpillar has evolved so that the false eyespots on the caterpillar act as a form of protective mimicry by potentially fooling predators into thinking that their prey might actually be a larger and potentially threatening predator itself.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar hosts: Spicebush (
Lindera benzoin), Sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum), Pondspice (Litsea aestivalis) Red, Swamp and Silk Bays (Persea spp.); perhaps prickly ash (Zanthoxylum americanum), Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), Sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), and Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora).”  Do you have any of those plants in your garden?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: caterpillar
Location: Bulgaria
July 14, 2016 5:55 am
We found this little guy crawling on our balcony. He’s pretty tiny, so maybe his coloring will be different as he grows. We’d like to try and watch him grow, but aren’t sure what he’d eat. We’re in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Signature: Deborah

Hummingbird Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Hummingbird Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Deborah,
This looks like a Hummingbird Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Macroglossum stellatarum, a species that is included on Wild About Britain.  According to UK Moths:  “The larvae feed on bedstraw (Galium), and some of these may hatch and give rise to autumn adults in an influx year.”  According to Lepidoptera and their Ecology:  “In Central Europe every year countless caterpillars are destroyed by excessive mowing of the meadows and roadsides, but this has probably little impact on the migratory species.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Just Curious
Location: Summerville South Carolina
July 6, 2016 2:22 pm
I found this snacking on a wicker rocking chair in my front yard. It measures roughly 4 inches in length. It is summer and 100+ degrees outside. Just wondering what it is because I have never seen a caterpillar that big in real life.
Signature: K. W. Hibbs

Pine Devil

Pine Devil

Dear K.W. Hibbs,
This marvelous caterpillar is a Pine Devil,
Citheronia sepulcralis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar with Horns-ID?
Location: Painter, VA
July 3, 2016 11:06 am
Location of this creature is Painter, VA. Found 7/3/16. Would love to know what he is.
Signature: Evelyn Wolfer

Pine Devil

Pine Devil

Dear Evelyn,
The Pine Devil,
Citheronia sepulcralis, is not nearly as colorful as its close relative the Hickory Horned Devil.  According to BugGuide it is found in:  “Eastern United States: Previously north to Maine but now likely extirpated north of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, common southward to Florida along Gulf Coast west to Louisiana. Found inland from eastern Louisiana northeast through central Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, to Southern Ohio. Single report from Illinois erroneous.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination