Subject: Unknown Caterpillar Eating Petunias
Geographic location of the bug: Kansas
Time: 08:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I’ve seen this caterpillar eating the petunias. I googled but was unsuccessful identifying the species. Your help is appreciated.
How you want your letter signed: Anna
We tried to identify your caterpillar this weekend, but we were having trouble accessing BugGuide. We know this is a Brush-Footed Butterfly Caterpillar in the family Nymphalidae, but we needed to determine the species. We located this identical caterpillar on BugGuide, but alas, it is only identified to the family level. This BugGuide image leads us to believe you encountered a Common Buckeye Caterpillar. BugGuide lists host plants as “Plants from the snapdragon family including snapdragon (Antirrhinum), toadflax (Linaria), and Gerardia; the plantain family including plantains (Plantago); and the acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora).” Butterfly Fun Facts lists Mexican Petunia (Ruellia species) as a host plant.