I’ve looked at all your caterpillar photos and don’t find this guy. What is it? It is on a bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis.)
Beth Ramey, Wimberley, TX
This is just a guess. We did a web search of caterpillar and lupine and found numerous postings regarding the returning lupine population being ravaged by caterpillars after the eruption of Mt Saint Helens. Though we could not locate a photo of this caterpillar, the description reads: “Much of the lupine damage was attributable to caterpillars of Filatima sp. moths, herbivores that feed on the lupine. The caterpillar ties lupine leaves together in silken masses to feed on the green tissue, dramatically reducing the number of seeds produced by lupines and, consequently, the rate at which the lupine population can expand.” This is consistant with your image that seems to show the silken mass on the leaves. We then tried BugGuide, but could not locate the genus, only the family Gelechioidea, and the Family Gelechiidae, Twirler Moths. Still not images of caterpillars that match yours. Perhaps one of our readers can find the answer.
Update: Caterpillar on Lupine: Twirler Moth Caterpillar??? (05/18/2007) ID caterpillar In regards to your posted photo, it looks like the caterpillar may be Pyralidae family, species: Uresiphita reversalis, which I have on my own website, http://www.colinlmiller.com/wildlife/lepidoptera/lepidoptera_caterpillars.htm.