Mystery Caterpillar
Location: Central Texas (Ft Hood Area)
April 9, 2011 8:14 pm
I’m a field biologist working in central Texas and I stumble upon a lot of caterpillars during my work.
I found this particular one on a low growing oak species, possibly Shin Oak.
I was wondering if you might know what it is?
Signature: writerwren

American Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear writerwren,
We took a gamble and did a web search for “caterpillar red stripes” and we quickly identified your American Lappet Moth Caterpillar,
Phyllodesma americana, on BugGuide which states:  “Larva: body with blue, black/gray, white, and orange on the back, and densely hairy lobes (lappets) along sides; top of eighth abdominal segment with unpaired hump; when stretched out or alarmed, exposes bright orange band across top of second and third thoracic segments.”  Here is an image on BugGuide that shows the two red stripes.

Location: Texas

10 Responses to American Lappet Moth Caterpillar

  1. Drew Carpenter says:

    Just found one of these in Missouri at Mark Twain Lake. Very cool face!

  2. Wendy Bowman says:

    Found in Smithville, Texas


  3. Wendy Bowman says:

    Found in Smithville, Texas


  4. A.Allen says:

    I live in Waco (Hewitt) Texas. We found one of these in our backyard today. We have a huge live oak tree and some other stuff. I guess it eats oak tree leaves? It was hanging out in my kids’ red wagon. I put on the tree and said “good luck!” after taking pics of it. Definitely an American Lappet, no doubt.

  5. Mary Cooper says:

    I had one in my driveway today. Interesting to watch.I’m mot sure how to leave a pic of it on here.

  6. tracy long says:

    I have one here in South Carolina

  7. John says:

    My daughter just found 2 in our yard in northern Minnesota.

  8. Dwayne Cormier says:

    Found one in Trenton, Pictou county Nova Scotia!

  9. Shem Reber says:

    Found one of these this morning in Carson Washington and it’s a cool looking little guy

  10. Felicia says:

    We just found one in Bushkill, Pennsylvania.

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