Currently viewing the category: "Caterpillars and Pupa"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unidentifiable CaterpillarS
Geographic location of the bug:  Roseville, CA
Date: 11/12/2019
Time: 06:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you tell me what this is?  They denuded my redbud tree. How can I prevent them from returning. Organic pesticides had no effect whatsoever. Thank you.
How you want your letter signed:  Sharon

Red-Humped Caterpillar

Dear Sharon,
This is a Red-Humped Caterpillar,
Schizura concinna, which you can find pictured on BugGuide.  According to the University of California Integrated Pest Management site:  “Young caterpillars commonly feed side-by-side in groups, chewing on the lower leaf surface. As the larvae grow, they tend to disperse and feed in smaller groups or individually. Skeletonized leaves are a common result, as the older caterpillars chew all the way through and consume leaves, leaving only the larger, tough veins. … When their abundance is low, larvae eat leaves on only a few branch terminals. Occasionally, heavy infestations develop and defoliate entire trees during the summer. Usually only scattered individual and young trees are severely defoliated. If severely defoliated, trees that are otherwise healthy usually recover.”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you for the quick response and valuable information about the Red-Humped Caterpillars.  They are scary-looking. I hope my redbud tree will recover. Thanks again!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Digging in the dirt!
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Nevada
Date: 10/25/2019
Time: 03:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  While out to lay pavers in our yard we got to watch a fascinating insect we’d never seen before. We watched for some time as it dug in our soft dirt, buzzing in the hole, moving rocks (sometimes as large as it was!) and at one point it unearthed a grub of sorts! Biting it behind the head it held in… it didn’t appear to sting it, and eventually the grub ceased to move. For an hour we watched as our friend dig holes, and then moved on to another spot. On one hole we watched her start to fill it back in, going in to buzz excitedly, then back to digging. I have a couple of videos too, if you’re interested.
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely, Kristi Shaffer

Thread-Waisted Wasp with Cutworm Prey

Dear Kristi,
This is a Thread-Waisted Wasp in the family Specidae, and the prey is a Cutworm.  The Wasp will not eat the Caterpillar.  Rather, the female Wasp has paralyzed the Caterpillar which it will bury and the paralyzed Caterpillar will provide food for the developing Wasp larva which will feed on the helpless, but living Caterpillar.  We believe we have correctly identified your Wasp as
Podalonia argentifrons thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae are provisioned with caterpillars exclusively from the family Noctuidae.” 

Thread-Waisted Wasp with Cutworm Prey

Thread-Waisted Wasp

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Slug caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Ionia mi
Date: 10/24/2019
Time: 11:51 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This was on my boat cover this summer which was parked under some walnut trees. Please help identify.
How you want your letter signed:  Ben

Skiff Moth Caterpillar

Dear Ben,
You have the Slug Moth Caterpillar Limacodidae correct.  This is a Skiff Moth Caterpillar,
Prolimacodes badia, and here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  Your individual has much larger tubercles that those on most pictured specimens.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on leaves of wide variety of trees and shrubs, including birch, blueberry, cherry, chestnut, Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), oak, poplar, Sweetgale (Myrica gale), willow, and others” so we suppose “others” can include walnut.

Skiff Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider eats Budworm
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 10/23/2019
Time: 07:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Exactly one month ago, I sent in images of a Green Lynx Spider that laid an egg sac on one of my medical marijuana plants, and this morning I noticed her eating a Budworm, and her brood has hatched.  I thought they would hatch in the spring.  What gives?
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats a Budworm while guarding brood.

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for keeping our readership up to date on the mundane dramas in your garden.  Daniel has always thought that the eggs of Green Lynx Spiders would hatch in the spring.  Lower beasts are much more attuned to their environments than are most humans, and perhaps global warming is affecting the hatching cycle of Green Lynx Spiders.  According to the Orlando Sentinel:  “A green lynx spider’s egg sac is much easier to spot than the spider itself. The sac is a slightly bumpy, sand-colored container housing up to 600 bright orange eggs that will hatch within 11 to 16 days. The sac is about an inch diameter with one flat side and one rounded. After its construction is complete, the female spider surrounds the sac with a sketchy tent of randomly woven silky threads. She then protects it further by clutching it with her legs as she hangs upside down.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  A Different Kind of Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Lexington, Massachusetts USA
Date: 10/14/2019
Time: 03:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I spotted this unique guy while walking my dog this morning.  Could you please identify him for us?
Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely, Tracey Hynes

Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Tracey,
We identified this Hornworm from the family Sphingidae as the Bedstraw Hawkmoth Caterpillar,
Hyles gallii, thanks to images on Sphingidae of the Americas.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black and White hairy caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Guatemala
Date: 10/11/2019
Time: 09:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found two of these large caterpillars on different avocado trees in a wet mountain area near San Pedro, Guatemala, do you know what they are called? 3″ soft hairy, don’t bit or sting.
How you want your letter signed:  Caroline

Unidentified Caterpillar

Dear Caroline,
We tried unsuccessfully to identify this distinctive Moth Caterpillar.  Some families we explored were Erebidae, Lasiocampidae and Apatelodidae.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more success with this identification.

Unidentified Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination