Bright Pink Caterpillar/Worm?
Location:  Caneyville KY
August 28, 2010 2:39 pm
This little guy was found in Caneyville Kentucky. He is approximately 1-2 inches long, bright pink in color, an orangish face with two little black eyes very close together. I cannot see any legs, so I suppose this could be some sort of grub worm? Any ideas?

Prominent Caterpillar

Hi Ashlee,
We knew immediately that this was a Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Heterocampa, but we needed to browse BugGuide to determine the species.  We are quite confident that this is the Caterpillar of the White Blotched Heterocampa, Heterocampa umbrata, and we even found an identical color match on BugGuide.  The normally green caterpillar changes color just prior to pupation.

15 Responses to Prominent Caterpillar

  1. poggy says:

    hello, my name is Eileen and i just found your website today and i have to say it is awesome! the reason i even came across your website, is that i had found a beautiful pink caterpillar. now mine looks similar to this one, but not exact. i wish i could take a picture, but i cant right now. i might be able to post one later. it is this shade of pink almost, bit it has hot pink dots the size of a pin head and then theres short little yellow hairs coming out from around the hot pink dots. more scattered, not really clustered. it has a bright yellow ring around its butt. i see 6 black stick like legs in the front and maybe only suction type feet for the rest of his body. there is also a light orange line going down the length of his body with tiny light orange spots right above it also down the length of his body. he also has a gray to black belly. mine doesnt have the same face as the one in this picture. there are no 2 black dots that look like eyes. he’s a rounded face with a orange line tracing his face. what i would like to know is what it is and what they eat. im in cleveland TN and i found him by my porch on the ground in the red dirt, rocks and mulch. there is only a maple tree and pecan tree where i found him, also a little basil plant not very big though at all. also i’d like to know if he will turn into a moth or butterfly? thank you for this awesome website!

    • bugman says:

      Hi Eileen,
      Generally, when caterpillars turn pink they are getting ready to pupate. Though we are not certain what you found, it would probably like to bury itself to continue metamorphosis and it is probably not interested in food.

  2. Ronny says:

    hi. I just found a pink caterpillar crawling around my room. this is the 3rd time this month and while I normally think they are cute little guys (the first time) Im now starting to wonder where the heck they are coming from and why my room? tho true I dont scrub every inch spotless every week I do usually keep things nice and tidy. what is it they are so attracted to and are they particularly poisonous at all?
    -Ronny in Palm Springs, CA

  3. Doreen says:

    I’m Doreen. I live in Ontario Canada. I was cleaning the floor and saw a small pink/skin-coloured caterpillar.

    It was about a half inch long. When I tried to pick it up with a piece of cardboard, it spit a pink gob at the cardboard, then scrunched itself between the floor boards.

    It was smart. I tried to get it to go on the cardboard so I could put it outside. But it squeezed between the cracks of the floor boards and escaped. What is this caterpillar? Or worm? It moved a bit like an inch worm, was hairless. I’ve lived in Canada 53 years, never saw one like that, never had a caterpillar spit at me.


  4. Doreen says:

    Oh, wow, just saw the comment above. Invasion of the pink caterpillars in North America!!

  5. Doreen says:

    Oh, bye the way. pink caterpillar’s spit was… of course.

  6. Leah says:

    Two days ago we found a purple and pink caterpillar, and were able to identify it as heterocampa umbrata using this site. Thanks! Upon reading that the bright color was due to it’s being ready to pupate, I put it in a jar with a stick, hoping it would be a great science lesson for my preschool aged kids. Unfortunately I did not realize that these species bury themselves as part of metamorphosis. Our caterpillar crawled under the oak leaves in the jar and covered itself with a sticky/ hard substance. Will it die ,or will we get an awesome view of metamorphosis?

  7. Kay Lea says:

    I found a pink caterpillar in mtn. grove, and when i picked it up it spit on my finger and now my finger is burning, does anyone know what the caterpillar spits?

    • Leah says:

      I’m not sure if it’s the same species but I know some caterpillars spit formic acid. Hopefully you are ok now?

  8. Roberta Avalos says:

    Hi found a pink cattapillar in Grand Terrace California.

  9. Mary Barron says:

    I have pink caterpillars in my back porch. I am afraid of them. What are they? How can I get rid of them?

  10. EVILBLADE says:


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