Subject: Unknown Caterpillar
Location: Juiz de Fora-MG – BRAZIL
March 6, 2016 7:43 am
Hello Mr. Bugman, How are you? I´m fine. Today I´m sending this beautiful caterpillar that I found feeding of Heliocarpus appendiculatus. I don’t know if it is Arsenura orbignyana, but I´m accompanying the cycle finish. What is your opinion?
Thanks so much. Greetings from Brazil! Marcelo Brito
Signature: Marcelo Brito de Avellar
These are gorgeous images of a positively gorgeous caterpillar that is probably from the family Saturniidae. Upon doing some research on the genus Arsenura, images available online look quite similar, including these images of Arsenura drucei on Caterpillar Eyespots. The closest match we could find is of Arsenura angulatus pictured on FlickR. An even closer match is a poor quality image of Arsenura xanthopus pictured on the World’s Largest Saturniidae site. We will contact Bill Oehlke to get his opinion, and we suspect he may request permission to post your excellent images that document at least two instars. The earlier instar possesses the caudal horn, which is shed during molting, leaving a caudal bump, a phenomenon that is common in some Hornworms from the family Sphingidae.
Bill Oehlke Responds
I am pretty sure they are Arsenura xanthopus. I do not think there is such a species as Arsenura ungulates. I think ungulates is a term for hooved animals that travel in herds, and probably the term ungulates was used in reference to prominent false legs or that these often travel and feed in large groups. Thanks. I realize it is extra work for you, but having dates and food plant are often very useful. Sometimes the local residents know the foodplant, and that is very useful information to anyone who wants to try to rear this species. Sometimes it can also help with ids.
Thanks for thinking of me
We suspect our email program autocorrected “angulatus” into “ungulates” and the food plant was listed as Heliocarpus appendiculatus.
Yes, I think they are of Arsenura angulatus, probably 4rth and 5th instars. Thanks for the fodplant. I figured out there must have been a mistake with the spelling after I hit the send button.