Do you know what kind of caterpillar this is? They were on our blueberry bush!

Datana Caterpillars on Blueberry

Datana Caterpillars on Blueberry

These are caterpillars in the genus Datana.  Datana major, the Azalea Caterpillar is most likely and they appear to be early instars that will get more colorful as they grow and molt.  You can read more about this species on BugGuide, where it is reported that they are sometimes found on blueberry leaves.  The posture and group grazing of this genus are quite unique.

4 Responses to Azalea Caterpillars, probably

  1. korinstamps says:

    These are fascinating. I have been visiting this site for some time as I am a homeschooler and my boys and I love to learn about various insects we find on our property. Thanks for an awesome site!

  2. Christina_Berry says:

    First of all, I love your site and have used it to aid in the identification of many bugs in the past! Thanks a bunch!

    I am certainly no expert, and am really just getting into bug ID’s as it’s a subject that really interests me, and it helps a lot being a nature
    photographer.

    Anyway, I ran across this caterpillar group, and wonder if you have considered Datana Ministra, or the yellow-necked cat instead? They do have this very red and yellow phase, and the
    broad yellow band and black marking on the caterpillars neck suggested Ministra to me, over Major? They look very similar, and as I said, I am no expert, but perhaps you might look into it?

    Thank you so much for all you do!

  3. Kathy says:

    Found theses azalea caterpillars on our blueberry bushes and wanted to know if they will destroy the plant. Should I get rid of them.

    • bugman says:

      Leaves that are eaten will regrow. Unless the health of the plant is already compromised, it should recover.

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