American Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Mystery Caterpillar
Location: Central Texas (Ft Hood Area)
April 9, 2011 8:14 pm
I’m a field biologist working in central Texas and I stumble upon a lot of caterpillars during my work.
I found this particular one on a low growing oak species, possibly Shin Oak.
I was wondering if you might know what it is?
Signature: writerwren

American Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear writerwren,
We took a gamble and did a web search for “caterpillar red stripes” and we quickly identified your American Lappet Moth Caterpillar,
Phyllodesma americana, on BugGuide which states:  “Larva: body with blue, black/gray, white, and orange on the back, and densely hairy lobes (lappets) along sides; top of eighth abdominal segment with unpaired hump; when stretched out or alarmed, exposes bright orange band across top of second and third thoracic segments.”  Here is an image on BugGuide that shows the two red stripes.

11 thoughts on “American Lappet Moth Caterpillar”

  1. I live in Waco (Hewitt) Texas. We found one of these in our backyard today. We have a huge live oak tree and some other stuff. I guess it eats oak tree leaves? It was hanging out in my kids’ red wagon. I put on the tree and said “good luck!” after taking pics of it. Definitely an American Lappet, no doubt.


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