4 ’Red Headed’ caterpillars grouped together
Location: Raleigh, NC
September 21, 2011 11:47 am
I found out about you from a guy I work with. And thought that’s so cool!
The other day I saw that one of my azalea bushes was looking a little decrepit. Upon further examination, I saw on a couple of branches, 3-4 caterpillars clumped together on each separate branch. Each caterpillar is 2-3 inches long at least a 1/4 inch in diameter. Mostly black, with sort of yellow stripes and red heads (or tails?)
Thanks for supplying the information that azalea is the food plant. Knowing the food plant for a caterpillar makes identification so much easier, though in the case of these Azalea Caterpillars, Datana major, we have identified them enough times in the past to know what they were immediately. You can also view the BugGuide information page to learn more about this species that feeds in groups and often strikes a dramatic pose when it feels threatened.