Currently viewing the category: "Caterpillars and Pupa"

Subject:  Big bug, hot for limes
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/19/2021
Time: 06:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this fella on my lime tree, just cruising around.
Taken June 7th.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug curious

Hornworm looks like Carolina Sphinx

Dear Bug curious,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth in the Sphingidae family, and it appears to be a Carolina Sphinx which is pictured on BugGuide.  The Carolina Sphinx feeds on the leaves of tomato, pepper and other solanaceous plants and not the leaves of a lime tree.  Do you have tomatoes or other related plants nearby?

Hi Daniel.
The plants nearby are a laurel tree, a rosemary plant, and a Portuguese blood orange tree.
About 50 feet away are some habanero plants, so maybe that’s it.
No tomatoes.
Basil? That’s not far away either, about 50 feet in another direction.
Steve

Subject:  Green and black hairy caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Mayan Ruins (Koba), Quintana Roo, Mexico
Your letter to the bugman:  Good evening! My family and I came across this beautiful gem of a caterpillar and I cannot find it anywhere on the web. Maybe perhaps you might know.
How you want your letter signed:  Keli rae

Possibly Automeris metzli Caterpillar

Dear Keli,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar, probably in the genus
Automeris, and quite possibly Automeris metzli which is pictured on Project Noah.  Caterpillars in the genus can sting.

Thank you so much! It’s such a beautiful moth, as well as larvae..

Subject:  Monarch Emerges from Chrysalis
Geographic location of the bug: Elyria Canyon State Park, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/09/2021
Time: 8:51 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
Last week Daniel informed you that while hiking in Elyria Canyon Park as post-operative knee therapy, he found a Monarch Chrysalis and Caterpillar on native Aesclepias eriocarpa.  Every day or two Daniel had been hiking back to check out the progress and yesterday the chrysalis appeared noticeably darker.

Monarch Chrysalis Day 10

Then this morning at 7:45 AM, the much awaited moment of translucence and the pattern of the wings showing through the exoskeleton.  Daniel sat on the bench to text the images to a few folk and then he laid down in the shade and listened to the birds, and an hour later, he realized that though he had missed the actual eclosion, he was still able to experience the mystery of metamorphosis and to view the helplessness of the newly transformed adult Monarch whose wings had not yet hardened and it was not yet able to fly.

Monarch Chrysalis Day 11

Despite missing the actual eclosion, Daniel was still witness to the hatchling testing out its strange new proboscis and auxiliary mouthparts.

Eclosion one hour later

Daniel writes:  “This new imago, though helpless, was adapting to its new vision thanks to the transformation of the visual sensation through complex compound eyes.  For about a half an hour I watched the adult Monarch feeling the breeze and testing the use of its new muscles in preparation for its maiden flight.  When I got close to take an image it was obvious the creature sensed me and potential threat because it appeared to quiver and to cower.  Not wanting my presence to interfere in the success of the transformation, I left thinking I might check up on it later in the afternoon, and to collect the remains of the exuvia.  I did note that there were no blossoms on the milkweeds in the patch.  All the blossoms seem to have withered and I pondered how much more successful a first flight would be after a first meal of milkweed nectar.  As I started my hike this morning, on my way into the canyon I watched an adult Monarch taking nectar from the blossoms of a patch of geraniums, but I reacted too slowly to get an image with the magicphone.”

Close-up of newly eclosed Monarch

 

Subject:  Monarch Caterpillar and Chrysalis on Indian Milkweed
Geographic location of the bug: Elyria Canyon State Park, Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 06/29/2021
Time: 8:30 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Readers,
As part of physical therapy rehabilitation for knee surgery, Daniel has begun hiking again, and this morning he was pleased to find first a Monarch Chrysalis and then a Monarch Caterpillar feeding on Kotolo or Indian or Wooley Milkweek,
Aesclepius eriocarpa, in Elyria Canyon State Park.

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch Chrysalis

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Jensen Beach, FL 34957
Date: 06/27/2021
Time: 09:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These suddenly appeared on my ornamental trees. Are they harmful?
How you want your letter signed:  Kathraine

Oleander Caterpillars

Dear Kathraine,
We verified the identity of your Caterpillar as
Empyreuma pugione on BugGuide, and the adult is the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, and since we do not want to call this the caterpillar of the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, we are going to call it the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar.  We will let you decide if they are harmful.

Oleander Caterpillar

Thank you so much! I am just hoping that the birds have a good lunch and leave it at that.
I just did some more reading. They’re poisonous to birds due to eating the oleander. I might try to pick some of them off, but my trees should live alright in spite of the caterpillars’ appetite.

Hi again Kathraine,
The caterpillars feed on the leaves and if the oleander is otherwise healthy, it will regrow leaves.  Caterpillars do not generally kill the plants upon which they feed.

Subject:  What’s that bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Gulfport ms
Date: 06/26/2021
Time: 06:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was in my mother’s house and stung her.  She said it felt like a bee sting.
How you want your letter signed:  S. Rea

Crowned Slug

Dear S. Rea,
This is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, more specifically the Crowned Slug,
Isa textula, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution! This is a stinging caterpillar. “