What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Beautiful Caterpillar
Location: North Carolina
September 3, 2011 11:03 am
I found this beautiful white caterpillar last night while looking for Monkey Slug Caterpillars. I looked around on the internet ,with no luck. I hope you can help our family ID. Thanks for the help with the Spun Glass caterpillar. My two sons liked seeing our photo on your great site.
Signature: Rick Thompson

Slug Moth Caterpillar

Hi Rick,
Other than to say that we are nearly certain that is is another Slug Moth Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, we cannot provide anything definitive, but we have a wild theory.  If you had only provide the front view, we would have most likely stated that this was another Spun Glass Caterpillar because the similarity is so striking, however, the lateral view is quite different.  Our wild theory is based on another letter that was submitted and the theory that was developed: “Speculation over there is that, like you said, it’s not a spun glass slug caterpillar, but it may be just part of one. Maybe a bird got one and shook it at the tentacle floated down and still had some reflex action that made it appear alive.”  Your lateral view appears to be a naked Spun Glass Caterpillar that has lost its appendages.  Many Caterpillars change appearance just prior to pupation.  Some change colors and others lose hairs.  Our new theory is that perhaps this is a Spun Glass Caterpillar, 
Isochaetes beutenmuelleri, and that it is getting ready to metamorphose.  The appendages might have begun falling off the caterpillar.  That certainly lends credibility that the mystery object in that other letter was a shed Spun Glass Caterpillar tentacle or appendage.  We welcome our readerships comments on this theory.

Perhaps a molting Spun Glass Caterpillar

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: North Carolina

2 Responses to Slug Moth Caterpillar, but which one???

  1. Glorgana says:

    That mystery post from 8/24 seriously had me trolling the internet for possible matches. I’m totally sold that is was a single tentacle from a Spun Glass Caterpillar. Amazing sleuthing guys 😀

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