beautiful caterpillars destroying my collards
Location: Washington, DC
September 4, 2011 5:38 pm
I love your site! I found these beauties chowing down on my collard plants in early September in Washington, DC, and I have yet to identify them. They’re about an inch long and didn’t appear hairy until I expanded the photos. They have a black and white pattern on top, bordered by yellow which then turns to green on the bottom. Reddish-brown head. Maybe a type of skipper?
We have been trying all manner of web searching options to try to identify your caterpillars, which looked vaguely familiar to us, but we could not recall their identity. Finally an image search of “collard eating caterpillar” turned up (numerous pages into the search) an image that matched your photo. It is on the BellaOnLine forum under “What is Eating my Brussels Sprouts?”, and it was identified as the Cross Striped Cabbageworm, Evergestis rimosalis, by Lisa Shea. We double checked that on BugGuide and learned that the identification was correct and we have now created a new caterpillar sub-sub-category of Snout Moth Caterpillars to house this posting. Since this caterpillar looked familiar to us, we suspect we may have an unidentified posting somewhere in our archive.
Wow – thanks so much! It’s interesting that such a beautiful caterpiller grows up to be a rather plain moth.