Currently viewing the category: "butterfly caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Colorful Ecuadorian caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Rio Silanche Sanctuary, Ecuador
Date: 04/21/2018
Time: 11:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel, et al.
While visiting Ecuador mid-January 2017, I unfurled this Pyrginae  caterpillar from it’s shelter.  Sorry, I don’t know what plant it was on.  I wonder if one of your experts can tell me the name of the skipper.
Thanks much,
How you want your letter signed:  Dwaine

Skipper Caterpillar

Hi Dwaine,
This is a gorgeous caterpillar.  Upon embarking on identification research, we quickly found this very different, but also colorfully striped Skipper Caterpillar on FlickR and another Skipper Caterpillar (
Astraptes fulgerator) from Brazil on FlickR, shot by the same photographer, is an even closer match to your individual.  Despite the color difference, we would not rule out that your individual might be Astraptes fulgerator or another member of the genus.  Caterpillars often change color just prior to metamorphosis, and pink and purple are two colors some caterpillars assume when undergoing morphological changes.  This Biodiversity in Focus article cites the genus Astraptes and DNA identification, and it contains an image of some variability in Astraptes caterpillars based on food plants.  There are also images of Two-Barred Flasher Caterpillars on the North American Butterfly Association of South Texas site.  We will contact Keith Wolfe to see if he can provide any information.

Skipper Caterpillar

Thank you so much!!  That is a wealth of information I did not have.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Hong Kong
Date: 04/15/2018
Time: 11:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there! We found these caterpillars on a lime plant we were growing in school. It is springtime in Hong Kong. There are many plants and trees in our playground, but there are no other lime plants here.  The lime plant was a growing project, And isn’t normally in the playground so I wonder if this is actually their usual food. Do you know what species these caterpillars are and what do they eat? Thank you
How you want your letter signed:  From Maddie

Common Mormon Caterpillars

Dear Maddie,
When caterpillars are found on a plant, one can with some assurance deduce that the caterpillar is feeding on that plant.  Butterflies and moths will lay eggs on plants that are suitable food sources for their caterpillars and that is what happened to your lime tree.  There are several species of Swallowtail Butterflies with similar looking caterpillars that feed on lime and other citrus tree leaves.  We believe your caterpillars are those of a Common Mormon,
Papilio polytes, and according to Butterflies of Singapore:  “The local host plants include the Indian Curry Leaf plant and various Citrus spp. One notable addition is the Mangrove Lime (Merope angulata) which was found to be utilized as larval host plant by members of the Plant Systematics group of the Department of Biological Sciences (NUS) in the recent past.”  The site also has nice images of the caterpillars and they look like your individuals.  We would not rule out that these might be the caterpillars of a Lime Swallowtail, Papilio demoleus, which is also pictured on the Butterflies of Singapore site.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  identify caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Raanana, Israel
Date: 03/26/2018
Time: 11:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found a lot of these caterpillars in our garden eating our nasturtium leaves. We have become fond of them, and have put some in a box, hoping to get butterflies (which we will release of course). They remind us of the silkworms we used to have as kids. Please can you give us some information about them. Is there anything else we can feed them besides nasturtium leaves?
How you want your letter signed:  Bug lovers

Large White Caterpillar

Dear Bug lovers,
Thank you for providing the information that nasturtium is the food plant.  We believe this is the caterpillar of a Large White,
Pieris brassicae, a butterfly that is found in Israel according to Israel’s Nature Site.  According to Learn About Butterflies:  “The Large White, often inaccurately referred to as the Cabbage White, is found across the whole of Europe including the Mediterranean islands and the sub-arctic areas of Scandinavia. It also occurs in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and across temperate Asia to the Himalaya mountains. It does not occur naturally beyond these regions, but was accidentally introduced to Chile.”  Hortographical has many images of Large White caterpillars feeding on nasturtium.

Thank you Daniel for all that good information,
We look forward to many white butterflies.
This is a great service you offer.
Best wishes,
Bug lovers Anthony and Jenny

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar/grub id
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Panhadle WV
Date: 01/22/2018
Time: 09:39 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this little guy/gal outside today I think it may be confused due to warm weather we have been having
How you want your letter signed:  Catherine Hubbard

Skipper Caterpillar

Dear Catherine,
Our initial impression was that this might be the larva of an Elm Sawfly, but then we saw then large head, which leads us to believe this is a Skipper Caterpillar similar to this image posted to BugGuide.  Skippers are classified as butterflies, but they share many of the characteristics of moths.

Skipper Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown caterpillar in Guatemala
Geographic location of the bug:  Tikal, Peten, Guatemala
Date: 01/21/2018
Time: 10:53 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi
I ‘d be fascinated to know what this caterpillar turns into. Can you help, please?
The pic was taken at 3am on January 6th in Tikal, Guatemala.  The beast in question was on a tree trunk in the carpark, around 50cm off the ground. It was approx. 40 – 50mm long.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, Steve

Skipper Caterpillar

Dear Steve,
Our initial thought was that this must be the Caterpillar of a Skipper in the family Hesperiidae because of the shape of the head.  Skippers are butterflies, but they share many characteristics typically associated with moths.  You may scroll down to an image of a Longtailed Skipper on Tortoise Preserve where it states:  “Like other skipper caterpillars, this species has a large head.”  Your individual looks very much like the caterpillar of a Zilpa Longtail,
Chioides zilpa, pictured on Butterflies of America that were taken in Costa Rica, a country with a much greater online database of insects, including butterflies and moths, than does Guatemala.  If our identification is correct, the adult Zilpa Longtail is pictured on the North American Butterfly Association of South Texas site.  We will try contacting Keith Wolfe to see if he can verify our identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Can you help me identify this caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Date: 10/28/2017
Time: 09:49 PM EDT
Photographed this tiny dinosaur like caterpillar in the campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru, India.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug Identified

Common Rose Caterpillar

We were immediately struck by the resemblance your Caterpillar has to the North American Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar, so we decided to research that lead and found images of the Common Rose Caterpillar, Pachliopta aristolochiae, on Wikimedia Commons that look exactly like your individual.  Images of the adult Common Rose are pictured on Butterflies of India.  The entire life cycle of the Common Rose is also pictured on Butterflies of India.

Common Rose Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination