What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mystery caterpillar
Hi there- I was doing some field work in Nogales, Arizona (Santa Cruz County) and came across this caterpillar. There was a large group of them scattered among 3-4 oak trees. I unfortunately know little about insects, and was not having much luck identifying the species by comparing my pictures to ones on-line. I was hoping that you could help me identify these critters. They were an orangey-red color with black protuberances. I did not see them in any other tree besides the oaks and when they weren’t eating the leaves, they were bobbing from side to side. Thanks.
Joanna Cezniak

Hi Joanna,
This looks like a Spiny Oakworm in the genus Anisota.

Ed. Note: (11/21/2005) The following correction just came in from Jim Tuttle.
I enjoy scrolling through your website periodically, and from a practical point of view I am always looking for interesting records, food plants, and range extensions for the Sphingidae, although I always take notes of the Saturniidae too. Good job, it is a useful tool for the nature lover or the frantic gardener. I casually noted two id’s that need correcting. Spiny Oakworm 10/18/2005 is actually Anisota oslari. Keep up the good work!!
Jim Tuttle

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Nogales, Arizona

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