Subject: Surprise Tenant Larva
Location: Coryell County, TX
April 19, 2016 9:22 pm
Hello, hope you are both well.
I discovered this larva living inside one of the blooming apple-blossom amaryllis plants. Its abdomen end looks remarkably like a snake’s face to me, and its body also resembles a bird dropping when curled. It curled up when I moved it gently to the petals, and when moved back it resumed its head-down, posterior snake-face-showing stance. It has gold iridescent spots along lateral (subdorsal?) lines.
As you can see, it’s eating itself out of house and home. 😀
I tried to match it to known moths and butterflies in our county, but had no luck.
Lots of rain this week, upper 60’s and cloudy.
We believe this is a Cutworm, the caterpillar of an Owlet Moth in the family Noctuidae. We have a difficult time distinguishing different species as so many caterpillars in this large family look so similar. You can try browsing BugGuide to see if you find any likely candidates. Many species are not terribly particular about what plants they feed upon, which complicates identification.