Subject: Large caterpillar
Location: Southern AZ
August 20, 2017 11:47 am
Thanks Daniel
Besides the AZ horned devil….
We have amazing critters here at 4200′ in southern AZ.
A small sampling…
Signature:  Len Nowak

Prominent Caterpillar: Lirimiris truncata

Dear Len,
One of your newly attached images is a much nicer image of the “Arizona Devil” you sent earlier and we will be adding that image to the previous posting.  We are really excited about the yellow and orange caterpillar images you submitted.  We quickly identified them as
Lirimiris truncata thanks to The Firefly Forest site where it states:  “Lirimiris truncata caterpillars are bright yellow and tiger-striped with black and white, and they have a few patches of white bristles, a red head, and an even larger red tail hump. This large tail hump might function as a false head meant to divert predators’ attacks away from the more vulnerable actual head.  The garish coloration of Lirimiris truncata caterpillars makes them highly visible to birds and other predators, but these caterpillars’ bold yellow, red, and black colors are actually a universally recognized type of aposematic (warning) coloration meant to warn away potential predators. I don’t know if these caterpillars are actually poisonous or noxious, but many caterpillars in the same family have chemical defenses and can spray foul-smelling, irritating, or toxic fluids if disturbed. Noting this caterpillar’s bright warning colors, I didn’t try handling it.”  We verified that identification on BugGuide where it states:  “The placement of this species is Notodontidae is uncertain. Lafontaine and Schmidt listed it as incertae sedis in their 2010 checklist (1). BOLD places it under Dicranurinae.”

Prominent Caterpillar: Lirimiris truncata

Location: Southern Arizona

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