Subject: Orange caterpillar with gray stripes and black horns
Location: Winterville, GA
August 16, 2015 8:48 pm
This was enjoying a leaf on an oak sapling in my woodland garden in the yard this afternoon, August 16th. I hope it’s something native because I left it to eat.
This is one of the native Oakworms in the genus Anisota, and we believe the closest match we can find on BugGuide is the Spiny Oakworm Moth Caterpillar, Anisota stigma. According to BugGuide, the caterpillars feed on the leaves of: “Oak; also reported from hazel and basswood.” Your individual appears to be on a willow leaf. Can you please provide the name of the tree the caterpillar was feeding upon as it does not look like an oak to us.
Dear Daniel, That is VERY Interesting. Thank you for getting back to me! Ok, the oak tree is a youngster, a little sapling so it’s tough for me to tell but I would say it is in the red oak family…do oaks every hybridize? Don’t they sometimes…it’s hard to tell because it’s young but if I had to guess I’d say maybe a Trukey Oak or a Southern Red oak…or maybe even a hybrid with a water oak or maybe a Laurel oak. I am just very skeptical about it being a willow because I have to acres, and this little woodland section of the yard is what I wouldn’t hesitate to call “dry woods.” I have no bodies of water on my property and all the other things that have sprung up naturally out there (Amer Beauty Berry, White oaks, Willow Oak, Hickory, Serviceberry, Mulberry) are things associated with dry woods I think. I could take some better pictures of the tree tomorrow (and maybe even the caterpillar–she was still there today, and bigger) assuming she’s still out there, if you think that would help. I also live in the part of GA where we have Oglethorpe oaks, for whatever that’s worth.
Thanks for getting back to me!
You do not need to send us images of the tree Stephanie. You have confirmed that there are plenty of oaks in the vicinity.