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

Subject: Caterpillar ID – Ethiopia
Location: Ethiopia
February 21, 2017 2:50 am
Hi Folks
This may appear a bit of a long shot, but I’ve been trying to ID a caterpillar that I saw in Ethiopia’s Somali region in December 2015….
Any ideas what it is? The local people didn’t know it’s “English” name, but said it’s hairs were poisonous to cattle and told me not to touch it. It was about 15cm long (5-6 inches).
Signature: Thanks!

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

This sure looks to us like a Lappet Moth Caterpillar from the family Lasiocampidae, and it is our understanding that some species in the family have urticating or stinging hairs.  We did find a similar looking Lasiocampidae Caterpillar from Ethiopia identified as Thaumetopoea apologetica on iSpot where the caption states:  “Urticating moth caterpillar causing skin and respiratory problems in cattle.”  An even closer match may be the Cape Lappet Moth Caterpillar, Eutricha capensis, that is pictured on Africa Wild where it states:  “Larvae congregate conspicuously on tree trunks, feeding on Acacia, white stinkwood (Celtis), bush willow (Combretum), Bauhinia and other trees in nature, and on trees such as mango, peach and the Brazilian Pepper in gardens.”  The plant it is feeding upon in your image appears to be an Acacia.  More images of the Cape Lappet Moth Caterpillar can be found on Hedgie’s Nature Journal.  We cannot state for certain we have the correct species, but we are confident we have the family correct. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Sphinx moth or tomato?
Location: SW New Mexico – near Silvercity
February 7, 2017 9:01 am
Greetings, I thought this was a sphinx moth caterpillar but someone else suggested it was a tomato worm. BTW – there were definitely sphinx moths out the same day that I took this photo. But there was also a different kind of horn worm out there also.
Signature: Narglyph

Tomato Hornworm

Dear Narglyph,
Sphinx Moth Caterpillars and “Tomato Worms” are not mutually exclusive because several species of Sphinx Moths have larvae that feed on tomato and other plants in the family, and the larvae are known as Hornworms.  Your individual appears to be the dark form of
Manduca quinquemaculata, the Five Spotted Hawkmoth and its larva is known as the Tomato Hornworm which appears in both green and dark forms.  You can compare your individual to this very dark individual pictured on BugGuide.

Thanks – I took the photo a while ago and I didn’t get pictures of what it was feeding on. A friend is writing an archaeological report on sphinx moths and datura and wanted to make sure she was getting the photos labeled correctly. I will pass on the info to you.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Singapore
February 5, 2017 2:07 am
Hi…my sister got bitten by a bright green caterpillar with less than three dark green stripes and has puffy spikes with four orange dots or something
Signature: any way

could you please help me, her hand is “burning” and she claims it’s really painful

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Dear any way,
This is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, and they do not bite.  The puffy spikes are stinging spines.  We have heard reports that the stings from many members of the family are quite painful.  We do not dispense medical advice.  If you sister is in pain, she should visit the doctor.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: India
February 3, 2017 7:29 am
Please identify
Signature: Promila

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Promila,
We have several images in our archives from India of Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillars, and we suspect you found this individual not far from an oleander shrub.  The adult Oleander Hawkmoth is a lovely green moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: identify bug
Location: cuernavaca, morelos, mexico
February 2, 2017 10:42 pm
Hello bugman,
I am a biology teacher in Mexico and my kids found this bug. I am pretty sure it will turn into a butterfly or a moth, ad would like to identify it to make a case kid my students. Please help!
Thank you
Signature: Teacher Nadine

Parasitized Caterpillar

Dear Teacher Nadine,
We are not certain if this is a Brushfooted Butterfly Caterpillar in the family Nymphalidae or an early instar Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae, but we can tell you for certain it will not turn into either a butterfly or a moth as it has been attacked by a Parasitic Wasp that laid eggs upon it.  The eggs hatched and the larval wasps feed on the internal organs, then emerged and pupated on the Caterpillar’s body.  The wasp pupae are the white rice-like objects visible in your images.  This caterpillar will die before reaching maturity.  We will attempt to get a more definitive caterpillar identification from Keith Wolfe.

Parasitized Caterpillar

Keith Wolfe Responds
Dear Teacher Nadine and Professor Bugman,
Yes, this is an unfortunate immature saturniid, POSSIBLY in the genus Hylesia (sorry, moth caterpillars are not my forte).
Best wishes,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: New Mexico Bagworms
Location: Albuquerque, NM
January 14, 2017 5:19 pm
These bagworm “cocoons” are now very common in the bosque (forest) along the Rio Grande in the area of Tingley Beach in Albuquerque, NM.
They are almost exclusively hanging from the salt cedar AKA Tamarisk on the flood plains adjacent to the river.
Can anyone identify a genus/species for these?
James Hunter
Albuquerque, NM
Signature: James Hunter


Dear James,
Our inability to provide you with a conclusive identification is no reflection on the excellent quality (and aesthetic merits) of your high resolution image.  In the pupal state, many Bagworms look very similar.  We thought that providing a food plant might help with identification, but in attempting to provide you with an identification, the most valuable information we learned on Texas Invasives is that Salt Cedar is an invasive exotic plant, which leads us to believe the Bagworm might not be a native species.

Thanks for your reply.
My very limited research has led me the genus Thyridopteryx; possibly a variation of the species ephemeraeformis.
A quick reference ( notes that for host plants:
Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis can feed on over 50 families of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs. Common hosts include juniper (Juniperus spp.), arborvitae (Thuja spp.), live oak (Quercus virginiana), Southern red cedar (Juniperus silicicola), and willow (Salix spp.) (FDACS 1983). Other hosts include maple (Acer spp.), elm (Ulmus spp.), pine (Pinus spp.), Indian hawthorn (Raphiolepis indica), ligustrum (Ligustrum japonica), and viburnum (Viburnum spp.). One of the authors has received unconfirmed reports of common bagworm as an economic pest of Adonidia palms (Veitchia merrillii) in south Florida (S.P. Arthurs 2016).”
Willows are very common in the Rio Grande bosque, and/or these little guys may have adapted to feeding on Tamarisk.
The map on this page ( and the detail (  reports ephemeraeformis feeding on a willow in Albuquerque.  The closest other records are in eastern TX, OK and KS.  Perhaps an “invasion” is in progress.
Thanks again.
James C. Hunter, RG

Hi again James,
Thanks for providing all your research for our readership.  We just do not have the staffing to research every posting as thoroughly as you have done.  That is quite a diverse group of food plants for a single species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination