Subject: Unidentified Hairy Caterpillar
Location: Houston, TX
April 8, 2016 5:53 pm
4/08/16 – We have just found several of these caterpillars on our Mustang Grape plant. We live in Houston, TX. We have tried to look up the caterpillar in two separate reference books: Caterpillars in the Field and Garden (Thomas J. Allen, Jim P Brock, Jeffrey Glassberg) as well as Peterson First Guides, Caterpillars (Amy Bartlett Wright), without success.
The Caterpillars are devouring the leaves on the Mustang Grape plant quite aggressively. We don’t want to kill them, we are just curious as to what they are. We have had this plant for 18-years and it has never been eaten before. The plant has never produced fruit. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
Signature: Colette Lassberg
This is the caterpillar of an Eight Spotted Forrester, Alypia octomaculata, a species that according to BugGuide: “Larvae feed on leaves of grape (Vitis spp.), peppervine (Ampelopsis spp.), and Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).” If you are concerned about the survival of the caterpillars but you want to protect your grape vine, you can purchase another food plant and relocate the caterpillars. The adult Eight Spotted Forrester is a lovely diurnal moth.