Subject: Curious Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug: Connecticut, USA
Time: 10:58 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I was hiking and picked up a stick, and underneath I saw a caterpillar-looking bug, presumably hiding its head in a hole in the stick (possibly snacking on the wood?). I tried looking up what kind of caterpillar it was, but can’t find a similar picture with any of my google searches. Please help me learn what kind of bug I found, it looks so cool! Thanks! (Please see picture attached.)
How you want your letter signed: Andi
Because we began our search with a false lead, our identification of this Beautiful Wood Nymph caterpillar, Eudryas grata, took some additional time. Our wrong lead began with locating this image online and the associated site, Beautiful Now, where it is associated with the following caption: “We love the beautiful blackberry and flower petal-eating Blackberry Looper (Chlorochlamys chloroleucaria) patterned with both stripes and polka dots, in bold shades of orange, white, and black.” The Blackberry Looper Caterpillars on BugGuide are a very different Caterpillar. Additional searching led us to this BugGuide image of the Beautiful Wood Nymph Caterpillar. According to BugGuide: “Larvae feed on leaves of several shrubs, vines: Ampelopsis, Buttonbush, grape, hops, Virginia Creeper.” We wouldn’t rule out that this might be the related Pearly Wood Nymph Caterpillar, Eudryas unio, which is also pictured on BugGuide. We don’t know why it was crawling into the hole in the stick.