Bright Geometrid Caterpillar from Mexico
Hi Daniel and Lisa,
I’ve finally got my pictures of the geometric caterpillars and pupae clean up to submit and am anxious to see what you have to say. These are from our front yard in central Mexico in Guanajuato State. There were TONS of them on a particular woody “weed” which I’ve captured in one of the photos so you can see what they’re eating. Whatever it is must have been particularly tasty as they weren’t the only ones munching away. There were also a couple of other unidentified larvae that looked perhaps to be some type of sawfly. But I digress. These act like inch-worms, hence I figure they must be geometrid of some sort. The final instars are approx 1 1/2″ in length and the diameter of a slender pencil. They’re kind of a snake mimic with the black, red and whitish stripes since we do have coral snakes in the area. After searching your site and bugguide and the web, I’ve come up empty-handed. The pupa turns into a small black and yellow one. Any ideas?
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
We aren’t sure what you did to “clean up” your photos, but the digital files are very tiny and it is difficult to see anything. We agree that the caterpillars resemble Geometrid Moths, but the chrysalis is definitely that of a butterfly. Are you certain these are the same species? A photo of the adult is the easiest way to identify your subjects. Sadly, we don’t know what you have, but we will post the images in the hopes that someone can provide an answer.
Sorry about the photo sizes, I must have not sized them correctly. And unfortunately I don’t have a macro lens so these are the best I could do. As to whether or not the chrysalis is from the caterpillar observed I have to say I’m not 100% sure. Besides the chrysalis pic I sent I did see some of the caterpillars form a kind of “netting,” like a cocoon. But I didn’t see any other caterpillars crawling up the wall where these were. Sadly, I don’t have pics of the cocoon structures. In any case, thanks for looking at these and hopefully someone will have an idea.