WHAT is this caterpillar?
Location: Alamos Sonora MX
August 5, 2011 1:09 pm
Suddenly there are many of theses large (2 inch av.) caterpillars under a large old Mesquite tree. I’m not sure if theyre falling from the tree, havent witnessed it, but, before they appeared and to this day also, there is much small green organic chunks, soft but size of dry pea, also falling from the tree and covering the ground. I’m told the chunks are casings from same.
Personally I would lose this tree if it were me if this came to pass every year. it’s too much to bear right smack in the patio outside my door.
This is the caterpillar of one of the Silkmoths in the genus Syssphinx, but there are least 19 species and subspecies in Mexico according to the World’s Largest Saturniidae website, and many have remarkably similar looking Caterpillars, so we are reluctant to attempt to identify the species. We have contacted Bill Oehlke to see if he is able to provide more specific information. Here is a link to BugGuide to what might be your caterpillar, Syssphinx hubbardi, Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth. It should also be noted that the green organic chunks you mentioned are caterpillar droppings, and they are an excellent indication that Caterpillars are feeding on the leaves. Also the coloration of your Caterpillar indicates that it is pre-pupal, and it is most likely seeking a location to bury itself to metamorphose into the pupa.
I would say your absolutely right. That’s the guy. Maybe I’ll shovel em up and stick them on some dirt somewhere’s. ( The amount of droppings is astounding last 4/5 days)!