Dear Bugman,
I’ve enclosed 2 photos of caterpillars. Are they the same or different? They were both on my licorice plant in my window boxes on my back deck this summer. Voracious eaters! (I had several) They have black ‘droppings’, and they spin a small web-like area in the leaves to hide out in. They munched dow big time, then after a few days, there were cocoons nearly the color of the leaves. I’ve enclosed a picture of one. I think they are American Painted Ladies, but not sure. Can you help? Thanks! I am in northcentral CT, btw.

Hi Susan,
You are correct. These are American Lady Caterpillars, Vanessa virginiensis. They are highly variable caterpillars, but the two white spots per segment are a distinctive marking. By the way, we are unsure of the exact species of the moth in your other email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *