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

Subject:  WTF
Geographic location of the bug:  St. Augustine FL
Date: 04/21/2019
Time: 08:33 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you tell us what this is before we leave the state? Have lived in Florida for 17 years and have seen some strange bugs but this one takes the cake.
Thanks
How you want your letter signed:  Dennis

Orange Dog

Dear Dennis,
This is the Caterpillar of a Giant Swallowtail, commonly called an Orange Dog because they feed on the leaves of orange trees and other citrus.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Guava (?) caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  North Queensland, Australia
Date: 04/06/2019
Time: 08:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this large, colourful caterpillar on a guava tree today (Autumn). It is about the size and thickness of my thumb. What is it? What will it become? Is it harmful?
How you want your letter signed:  Connie

Emperor Gum Moth Caterpillar

Dear Connie,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae, and we believe we have correctly identified it as the Emperor Gum Moth Caterpillar,
Opodiphthera eucalypti, which is pictured on Butterfly House.  According to Butterfly House:  “Cherry Guava ( Psidium cattleyanum )” is listed as a food plant.  The Emperor Gum Moth Caterpillar is also pictured on Jungle Dragon and on the Woodlands Historic Park site.  Another possibility is that this might be Syntherata leonae, a species with no common name whose caterpillars are described on Butterfly House as:  “Later the caterpillars become olive green with a yellow line along each side, and have pink-tipped tubercles each of which has a cluster of short stiff hairs.”  The latter species is also pictured on Aus-Lep.  Neither is considered harmful.  Perhaps someone with more expertise in Australian Saturniids will be able to provide more clarification.

Update:  Thanks to a comment from Matthew Connors, we are concluding that this is Syntherata escarlata.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Mr. Caterpillar, WHO are YOU?
Geographic location of the bug:  San Diego, CA
Date: 04/04/2019
Time: 11:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My 6-year-old wants to be an entomologist when he grows up. As he puts it, “I care for the earth and small creatures!” He found this caterpillar at the park today. He eagerly consulted his beloved Southern California Butterfly/Moth Pamphlet, but this caterpillar was not pictured. I promised him I’d ask you for help!
How you want your letter signed:  SoCal Insect Hobbyists

Cutworm

Dear SoCal Insect Hobbyists,
This is a Cutworm, the common name for many caterpillars in the subfamily Noctuinae.  Cutworms are reviled by many home gardeners because of the manner in which the caterpillars feed.  Cutworms will cut a sprouting plant at ground level in order to feed, effectively killing newly sprouted plants and seriously jeopardizing the survival of larger plants that might be able to sprout back from the roots.  Most Cutworms develop into drab, brown moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars in Joshua Tree National Park
Geographic location of the bug:  Joshua Tree National Park, California
Date: 04/05/2019
Time: 8:15 AM PDT
Daniel took a much needed break from the office on Thursday to drive to Joshua Tree National Park with Sharon to view the superbloom phenomenon.  At the Cottonwood Springs entrance to the park, the wild flowers were most spectacular, and it seemed that every plant had at least one Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar feeding on the vegetation.  Sharon asked why there were so many.  In years with substantial precipitation falling in the desert, there is an increase in vegetation, and that provided more food for more caterpillars that in turn provide more food for birds, rodents and other insectivores.  Periodically, there are population explosions of Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars.  Though most of the caterpillars were dark, we were still able to locate a few lighter individuals.

Whitelined Sphinx Cateprillars: Dark and Light forms.

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillars: Dark form

Whitelined Sphinx Caterpillar: Light form

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Green hornworm (?) from Ecuador
Geographic location of the bug:  Jorupe Reserve, near Macará, Loja, Ecuador (near the Peruvian border)
Date: 04/02/2019
Time: 07:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This photo was taken at the Jorupe Reserve (same location as my Eumorpha triangulum earlier today) on March 9.  This caterpillar is at least 3 inches long and very fat.  As we walked along the trail, these were falling out of certain trees to the ground.  I’m thinking it’s another Sphingidae/Hornworm.
How you want your letter signed:  David

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear David,
We agree that this does appear to be a Hornworm in the family Sphingidae, but it is not possible to discern a caudal horn due to your camera angle.  Can you confirm a caudal horn?  Can you provide an image that shows the horn?  We will continue to research this matter and hopefully provide you with an identification.  We will once again contact Bill Oehlke to take advantage of his expertise.

Daniel, here are my only other shots of this caterpillar, all the same individual.  I see no horn.
By the way, I have reduced the resolution on these to make it easier to send them over my inadequate internet connection.  Let me know if you need higher res.

Thanks for your help.

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Thanks for sending additional images David.  We have forwarded them to Bill Oehlke and are still awaiting a response.  We would not want to rule out that this might be a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae.

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Daniel, I am pretty sure it is Caio harrietae.
Caio harrietae (Forbes, 1944) (Arsenura).
Do I have permission to post this image and the Eumorpha triangulum image?
Bill Oehlke

Ed. Note:  See our archive for images of adult Caio harrietae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spotted caterpillar from Ecuador
Geographic location of the bug:  Jorupe Reserve, near Macará, Loja, Ecuador (near the Peruvian border)
Date: 04/02/2019
Time: 11:47 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I photographed this caterpillar (2-3 inches long) at the Jorupe Reserve on March 9.  The size and pattern of the eye-spots on the side look similar to those on some Eumorpha caterpillars, but I haven’t found a match to this.
How you want your letter signed:  David

Eumorpha Caterpillar

Dear David,
This is a beautiful Caterpillar, and because of its resemblance to the North American Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar and Pandorus Sphinx Caterpillar, we are quite confident it is also a member of the genus
Eumorpha.  Caterpillars of moths in the family Sphingidae are commonly called Hornworms because most members of the family have caudal horns.  Members of the genus Eumorpha frequently lose their caudal horns during the molting process.  We could not find any matching images on Sphingidae of the Americas, but many species on the site are lacking images of the caterpillars.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide a species identification.  We hope you will allow Bill to post your image to his site if he is able to assist.

Bill Oehlke Responds.
Daniel,
I sent image to Jean Haxaire and he indicates it is Eumorpha triangulum, but the plant it is on in the photo is not its natural host.
Bill
The larvae display several different colour morphs.

Ed. Note:  More information on Eumorpha triangulum can be found on Sphingidae of the Americas.

Excellent information.  Thanks very much.
(I have another one that I’ll send along shortly.)
David
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination