What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar ID help please
Location: Manzano Mtns, New Mexico
May 24, 2015 8:06 am
A friend sent me these pics of a caterpillar, asking for ID help and I have no idea what it is. Can you help? Thank you.
Signature: A. Wakefield

Pandora Moth Caterpillar

Pandora Pine Moth Caterpillar

Dear A. Wakefield,
We originally identified your caterpillar as a Pandora Pine Moth Caterpillar,
Coloradia pandora, on the World’s Largest Saturniidae site, and then found a matching image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on the leaves (“needles”) of various species of pine (Pinus). Particular host records include: Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Jeffrey pine (P. jeffreyi), lodgepole pine (P. contorta), sugar pine (P. lambertiana), pinyon pine (P. edulis), and Coulter pine (P. coulteri).   Adults do not feed.”

Pandora Pine Moth Caterpillar

Pandora Pine Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Manzano Mtns, New Mexico

3 Responses to Pandora Pine Moth Caterpillar

  1. Nancy Elson says:

    The last couple of years this caterpillar/moth has flourished in the Manzano Mountains (I live there too.) What eats the caterpillars and/or the moth? Any chance they eat scrub oak–probably not but I’ve got forests of scrub oak and would happily toss the caterpillar/moth there.

    • bugman says:

      According to BugGuide: “Larvae feed on the leaves (“needles”) of various species of pine (Pinus). Particular host records include: Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Jeffrey pine (P. jeffreyi), lodgepole pine (P. contorta), sugar pine (P. lambertiana), pinyon pine (P. edulis), and Coulter pine (P. coulteri)” so they will not eat scrub oak. Interestingly, BugGuide also states: “Larvae are prepared and eaten by Paiute natives in California.”

      • Nancy Elson says:

        Some New Mexico tribes prepare the larvae and eat them too. And say they are yummy deep fried. Don’t think I’ll be trying them any time soon.

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