Currently viewing the category: "Caterpillars and Pupa"
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

Subject: Stinging caterpillar
January 8, 2017 1:21 am
Hi here is the photo of the caterpillar. Stinging slug?
Signature: Vaughan

Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Dear Vaughan,
You are correct that this is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae.  This individual on iSpot looks very similar, but alas, it is only identified to the family level.  This individual on iSpot is not identified either.  We then located a posting on iSpot that looks very similar that is identified as
Stroter intermissa, but we have not been able to verify that elsewhere on the internet.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Argema mittrei life stages
Location: Madagascar
January 6, 2017 11:47 am
Dear Daniel,
with my best wishes for 2017, I’d like to send You a drawing with Argema mittrei life stages as a little Christmas present…
Signature: Bostjan Dvorak

Life Cycle of Argema mittrei by Bostjan Dvorak

Happy New Year Bostjan,
Thank you for submitting your beautiful drawing. 
Argema mittrei is really a beautiful Giant Silkmoth.  While we do not have any images on our site of that species, we do have an image of a relative from the African mainland, Argema mimosae, on our site.  We also have an image of what we believe to be the Caterpillar of Argema mimosae.  Perhaps you can let us know if that identification is correct. Mada Magazine has a nice article on the Madagascar Moon Moth or Comet Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Key West
January 6, 2017 11:17 am
Florida Keys, about 2″ long. I put him on my tree. Thanks!
Signature: Alison

Io Moth Caterpillar

Dear Alison,
Your caterpillar is that of an Io Moth.  Your dorsal view hides the dramatic red and white stripes on the side of the Io Moth Caterpillar.  Handle the Io Moth Caterpillar with caution as they have stinging spines.  The adult Io Moth is a beautiful Silkmoth with stunning eyespots.

Oooo, thank you. I let him crawl on a credit card and then put him on the tree.
Thanks again!
Alison Johnson

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: KauAi
December 30, 2016 10:26 am
Found in my home on Kauai. It’s pretty small…a little bigger than a cantaloupe seed.. I’ve seen a few individual ones at different times…. should I be concerned?
Signature: Mahalo, Shannon

Case Bearing Moth Larva

Dear Shannon,
This is the larva of a Case Bearing Moth, a species found in proximity to humans throughout the world.  Though we do consider them to be household pests, they do not do significant damage.  They will eat shed pet hair and other organic detritus found in the home, and we have posted images of them getting into pet food.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar ID
Location: Northern Virginia
January 5, 2017 7:50 am
Found these in early fall in Northern Virginia. Can’t find a picture of it anywhere. Any idea what it is?
Signature: Chad

White Flannel Moth Caterpillars

Dear Chad,
You should handle these White Flannel Moth Caterpillars,
Norape ovina, with caution because according to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar has stinging spines.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination