camouflaged caterpiller
This caterpillar was photographed in Atlanta, Georgia on Oct 8, 2004.
Several of these were on a blue mist flower. Their movement was very slow.
The length was less than 1/2 inch. They appeared to be eating the flower or
maybe just biting parts off to put on their bodies. I noticed their
movements while photographing bees and got a few shots of them.. I don’t
know what they are and haven’t been able to find any information on them in
field books or on the web.
I just found your website today and spent quite a while looking at all the
stuff. It’s one of the best bug sites I’ve seen.
Bill DuPree
Atlanta, Georgia

Thanks for the compliment Bill.
We were unsure as to an exact identification, so we turned to entomologist Eric Eaton who wrote back:
“Nice image! Wow! Yes, I have heard of this creature, it is an inchworm of some kind, family Geometridae. If I can dig up more information somewhere, then I will go ahead and send it along.”

Thanks Daniel,
I really apprecite your help. I sort of thought it might be an inchworm. Sometime when you’re not busy, check out my insect photo gallery on pbase. It’s insects and spiders mostly unidentified, especially the flies. Congrats on the Yahoo and the USA recognition!
Bill DuPree

Ed. Note: Several days later Bill wrote back:
Hope you remember the camouflaged inchworm photo. I may have an identification on it: wavy lined emerald moth (Synchlora aerata). Does that seem correct? Thanks,

Hi again Bill,
We did some web research with your new information and found a link with a photograph that looks like you are probably right. Thanks for the update.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the link. It does look similar. I just got a book by Thomas Eisner, “For Love of Insects”. The camo behavior is covered in chapter 8 and photos of Synchlora larva are shown both bare and in full dress. Evidently, several species of Synchlora larva camouflage themselves. I did a search for Synchlora to see how many species occurred in Georgia. I found at least 3 (there’s probably more), with the most common one being the wavy lined emerald moth. Most of the bugs I see are the common ones, so I’m guessing this one is too.
Boy, this bug ID business can get hard!

Location: Georgia

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