Subject: What type of catarpillar is this?
Geographic location of the bug: Midwest Missouri
Time: 01:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello there!
My 6 year old son found this catarpillar outside and we want to know what kind it is. Is it venomous? What type of tree leaves does it eat? And what kind of butterfly will it become? Thanks so much!
How you want your letter signed: Sincerely, Momma of Boys
Dear Momma of Boys,
This is a Common Buckeye Caterpillar, Junonia coenia, and it is perfectly harmless. The Common Buckeye is a beautiful spotted butterfly. 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.