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

Subject: Mystery caterpillar
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
April 6, 2014 8:54 pm
My friend found this fuzzy black caterpillar, took it inside and it formed a cocoon! I’m sorry but I can only show a picture of the cocoon, no caterpillar. What is it, a moth or butterfly? Thanks!
Signature: Tam

Possibly Arctiid Cocoon

Possibly Arctiid Cocoon

Dear Tam,
What we can tell you for certain is that this Cocoon will produce a moth, not a butterfly.  We suspect by your description of the caterpillar and by the appearance of this cocoon, that it might be a Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae, and the caterpillars of Tiger Moths are frequently called Woolly Bears.  We decided to research the possibilities for a species identification and we found the Moths of Alaska website which contains a photo of the Wood Tiger Moth,
Parasemia plantaginis, but no photo of the caterpillar, though it is noted that “They overwinter in the larval form.”  That would explain your finding the caterpillar in April.  The Wood Tiger Moth is found “throughout northern Europe, northern Asia, and western regions of North America” according to Moths of Alaska.   We did locate a photo of the caterpillar on the Habitas site.  We are not certain the Wood Tiger Moth will emerge from this cocoon, but that is a distinct possibility.  Please get back to us when the moth ecloses, and provide a photo if you are able.  We don’t get many identification requests from Alaska, so we like to give them extra attention when the opportunity presents itself.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hornworm, NOT Tomato
Location: South of Springfield, IL
April 8, 2014 4:56 pm
I found this guy crawling around in the gravel of the driveway. He eschewed leaves from my tomato plants.
He looked LIKE a tomato hornworm at first glance, but instead of one row of eye spots, he has a double row, the top ones being huge and red. It was large, about the size of a tomato hornworm, though marked differently.
I’ve cleaned it up in Photoshop, I was going to post it online (I’m an avid Wikipedian), but wanted to be able to identify it, first.
Signature: Kaz

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Kaz,
Considering the record long and harsh winter we understand you experienced in your part of the world, we find it unusual that this sighting of a mature Hornworm occurred this week.  Since you admitted you “cleaned it up in Photoshop” we are not certain exactly much color and contrast manipulation has occurred, but this appears to be the caterpillar of a Whitelined Sphinx,
Hyles lineata, a highly variable species.  Except for the color intensity, it looks very similar to this example on BugGuide.  We are currently featuring a Wanted Poster from a graduate entomology student who is studying the population explosions of this species that often occur in the desert regions of the Southwest.  Some years the Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars are incredibly numerous.  Native Americans collected them for food and they are popular among modern entomophages.  The adult Whitelined Sphinx, also known as the Striped Morning Sphinx, is our featured Bug of the Month for April 2014 because we have gotten so many reports and identification requests from Southern California this spring.

Oh, no, this was during the summer, I just didn’t discover your
website until now.  Weird, the pics on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyles_lineata look
completely different.  I take it that the wide range of this moth explains why its
caterpillar varies so extremely…I’m in Illinois, a couple of
thousand miles away from those places, and Wikipedia says its range
goes from central America through Canada.

We don’t believe the color variations have to do with location.  Members of the same brood can look quite different, some being black and others green.  We have several examples in our own archive that look similar to your individual, except for the color intensity.  See here and here.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large worm
Location: Near Lanseria Airport. South Africa
April 1, 2014 10:55 am
We discovered this worm in our garden recently.
About 100mm long and 12-15mm thick
Any ideas please?
Signature: Mike A

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Hi Mike,
Do you have an oleander shrub in your garden?  This is the Caterpillar of an Oleander Hawkmoth.

Hi Daniel
We do indeed!
My wife now tells me that it is an extremely poisonous bush!
Our dogs had found the worm and were carrying it around the garden. Fortunately they did not harm or puncture it.
Thanks for responding.
Kind regards
Mike Abraham

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Please do not submit images of similar insects from the internet with identification requests without informing us of the origin of the images.  That wastes our time and the time of our readers.

Subject: A caterpillar that I think is poisonous
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
April 3, 2014 1:28 am
This specific caterpillar has sent me to hospital. I was at school when it had stung me when I had seen it there were no hairs on it. It made my face swell and my left arm doctors say it is not a allergic reaction. Could you please tell me if this caterpillar is poisonous?
Signature: M.Ismail

Stinging Caterpillar

Virginia Ctenucha Caterpillar image from BugGuide

Dear M. Ismail,
Our initial attempts to identify this stinging Moth Caterpillar did not produce any results.  We are posting your image and awaiting input from our readership.  There are many caterpillars that have utricating hairs that can produce a reaction in sensitive humans, and the skin of the face is especially sensitive.

Ed. Note:  Virginia Ctenucha image pilfered from BugGuide!!!
It seems this image was lifted from BugGuide, probably unintentionally, by the M. Ismail in an attempt to identify a different stinging caterpillar in South Africa.  Rather than submitting an original image, we were misled when we were not informed that this image was not taken by the person who wrote the request.  We apologize for any confusion this has caused.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unidentified Caterpillar
Location: Bloemfontein region, Free State, South Africa
March 31, 2014 10:24 am
Hi, I found this caterpillar on our Private Game Farm in the region of Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa and am hoping you may be able to assist in it’s identification?
It’s an active night feeder, resting during the day .
Feeding on Quilted Bluebush (Diospyros lycioides).
Numerous groups have been contacted in regards to it’s identification, but as yet, no such luck.
Signature: Toby Esplin – About Nature, Wildlife and Birding Tours

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

Dear Toby,
We don’t think we will have time to research this request this morning, but we are posting all of your images and perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a response.  Our initial guess is that this is probably the caterpillar of a large moth in the family Erebidae because it reminds us of the Underwing Caterpillars from North America.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Spiny caterpillar
Location: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
March 27, 2014 3:26 pm
We came across this large spiny/fleshy caterpillar (being eaten by ants) in the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica at the end of the dry season (middle of March). It was about 3 inches long. Do you know what it would have become?
Signature: Alison

Ants eat Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Ants eat Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Hi Alison,
Alas, this caterpillar appears to have already become all that it will become, food for Ants.  Were it not attacked, it should have transformed into one of the Giant Silkmoths in the family Saturniidae and the subfamily Hemileucinae, though we have not had any luck verifying the actual species.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to get his opinion.

Daniel,
Only a guess. Automeris postalbida. Color might be off due to near death.
Please always ask for more precise location before sending images. Saves me
time in looking things up. Different species, often very similar, can often
come from different locations. If I know location I might only have to
search through five files instead of fifty as I have species checklists for
most of South and Central America down to one level below national level..
Thanks for thinking of me.
Bill

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination