Subject: Fuzzy reddish/orange, black and white caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Time: 08:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Found this caterpillar inching along the ground today (feb 19, 2019) and haven’t had any luck figuring out what type it it! I thought maybe in the Tussock family?
How you want your letter signed: Emily
This is a very distinctive and impressive looking Caterpillar. Our first hunch is the superfamily Noctuoidea which includes the Tussock Moths. We will attempt to provide you with a species identification, and perhaps our readership will be able to provide some information.
Facebook Comment from Karla Thompson
Shag Carpet caterpillar.
We learned the Shag Carpet Caterpillar is in the family Apatelodidae, the American Silkworm Moths. According to All About Butterflies: “The larva of Prothysana felderi varies in appearance from instar to instar. It also occurs in various colour forms across its geographical range. Some varieties have a buff or olive ground colour, with tussocks of red setae on the thoracic and anal segments, while others are deep red, with ribbons of black or white setae along the backs. The larvae feed on Philodendron, Heliconia, Welfia, Aegifila, Chamaedora, Piptocarpha, Pentaclethra, Piper, Stigmaphyllon, Neea, Lycianthes, and Heliocarpus.”