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

Subject:  Bright happy worm
Geographic location of the bug:  Livermore, KY
Date: 02/20/2020
Time: 06:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This pretty little worm was found on a tractor in the river bottoms of Livermore,KY. It was late summer, around the end of August when it was found. I have never seen a worm like this before and no one I’ve asked can identify it either. I’d love to know what this little guy’s species is!
How you want your letter signed:  Curious worm lady

Stinging Rose Caterpiller

Dear Curious worm lady,
Your “bright happy worm” is a perfect example of the concept of “look but don’t touch” because it is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae.  We identified it as a Stinging Rose Caterpiller,
Parasa indetermina, thanks to this image on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What kind of caterpillar?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tucson, AZ
Date: 02/12/2020
Time: 08:21 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this giant caterpillar near my garage in October.  I’ve never seen one so big. What is it?
How you want your letter signed:  Erica

Pre-pupal Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Erica,
We believe your Hornworm is a pre-pupal Rustic Sphinx Caterpillar,
Manduca rustica, based on images on the Sphingidae of the Americas and BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Dallas Texas Area
Date: 01/06/2020
Time: 01:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this guy on one of my Vitex bushes this Fall.  He is 3″ long. What is he going to be?
How you want your letter signed:  Clueless in Dallas

Hornworm: probably Manduca florestan

Dear Clueless in Dallas,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a moth in the family Sphingidae.  Thanks for providing the food plant.  When we searched for Sphingidae caterpillars that feed on Vitex, we found this posting for
Manduca florestan on Wikipedia, and we then checked on Sphingidae of the Americas where we found images that appear to match your individual.  Manduca florestan is listed as a stray in Texas.  We will contact Bill Oehlke to verify our identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What is it??
Geographic location of the bug:  Shark Valley, Everglades National Park
Date: 12/13/2019
Time: 01:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello!
Never seen anything quite like this. It was on a cocoplum leaf.
How you want your letter signed:  Mike

Unknown Stinging Slug Caterpillar

Dear Mike,
This is definitely a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, but we are uncertain of the species.  The red color is quite unusual.  We believe it might be a Crowned Slug Caterpillar,
Isa textula, which is pictured on BugGuide, but we cannot locate any images of red individuals.  Sometimes caterpillars change colors right before metamorphosis.

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