Subject: Found this little guy
Geographic location of the bug: Texas, Redbud Vanilla Twist Tree
Time: 02:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I found this little guy on one of my new letters. At first, I didn’t realize it was a caterpillar, until I got a closer look. Good thing I always have a camera close, especially in my backyard. I have never seen this one before and I surely don’t want it to eat all the leaves on the young tree.
How you want your letter signed: Kate in Texas
Dear Kate in Texas,
This is a Prominent Caterpillar in the family Notodontidae, and we spent a considerable amount of time trying to get a species identification for you. The closest visual match we found on The Moth Photographers Group is Schizura badia, though we are not certain that is correct. According to Discover Life, the common name is the Chestnut Schizera, and the same common name is used on BugGuide where it states “The larvae feed on Northern Wild-Raisin and other Viburnum species.” The Red Humped Caterpillar, another member of the genus, is known to feed on redbud, but your caterpillar is most definitely not that species. Scientists and naturalists don’t always have comprehensive knowledge of the feeding habits of caterpillars. Leaf loss due to caterpillar feeding is rarely a concern for a healthy tree.