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

Subject: caterpillar on lamb’s ears
Location: San Diego, CA
June 24, 2017 6:49 pm
Hello,
I have a plant that just popped up in my garden and think it’s a lamb’s ears. Each tip of the tallest 5-7 branches have been folded up into caterpillar homes. See picture… Do you have any idea what they might be?
Thank you!
Signature: Judy Sharp

American Lady Caterpillar

Dear Judy,
This distinctive caterpillar is an American Lady Caterpillar,
Vanessa virginiensis.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on Cudweeds, Everlastings and Pussytoes – Gnaphalium, Anaphalis, Antennaria.”  BugGuide also makes reference to the caterpillars making “leaf shelters” and there is a nice image on BugGuide with the caption “The larva weaves the leaves together and feeds inside the shelter.”

Thank you Daniel,
That’s exactly what they are doing – “weaving” for shelter. I see no signs of them feeding on any leaves. I hope they survive. I look forward to seeing them as butterflies. 🙂
Judy

Dear Judy,
We would love any images you can send of chrysalides or adults once they emerge.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: West Los Angeles sighting – Gulf Fritilary – 1
Location: West Los Angeles
June 20, 2017 1:52 pm
Hi Bugman,
Here’s the next set of pictures. Hope you enjoy them.
Signature: Jeff Bremer

Mating Gulf Fritillaries

Dear Jeff,
It is going to take a chunk of time to correctly edit the posting to contain your awesome images depicting the life cycle of the Gulf Fritillary,
Agraulis vanillae, a common Southern California butterfly.  We have decided to begin the posting with your awesome image of a pair of mating Gulf Fritillaries, a logical place to begin a life cycle, and we will add to the posting as we reformat your images. This has prompted us to initiate a new tag of Buggy Life Cycles to house both this and your previous Anise Swallowtail documentation.

Gulf Fritillary ovipositing on passionvine.

Hatchling Gulf Fritillary caterpillar (right)

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Pre-Pupal Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Pre-Pupal Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar with, possibly, a parasitic Wasp (right)

Hi Daniel,
This is the second time you’ve spotted a parasitic wasp in one of my pictures.  Is there anything I can, or should, do about this?  I understand the wasp has as much right to exist as the butterflies, but I can’t help feeling protective over the caterpillars.
Thx, Jeff

Gulf Fritillary Chrysalis

Sorry Jeff,
We can’t think of a way for you to protect the early stages of butterflies from parasitoids unless you raise the caterpillars in a container with a fine mesh screen.

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: ? Butterfly Larva
Location: southeast Michigan in June
June 17, 2017 6:06 pm
I am a hopeless butterfly enthusiast who came across this interesting caterpillar crawling along the
paved trail in our state park. I am familiar with the common butterflies found in our area, but my
research provided no matches for this larva. It was clearly in the wandering stage, seeking out a place to pupate. I hope you will be able to solve my little mystery. I would love to know to which
species it belongs! Many thanks in advance.
Signature: Kathy Genaw

Our Automated Reply:  Thank you for submitting your identification request. Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

In the interest of not wasting your valuable time, I want to let you know that I
was able to identify my butterfly larva.  It is a Mourning Cloak caterpillar!
Thank you for the great work you do!
Kathy Genaw

Mourning Cloak Caterpillar

Dear Kathy,
We are thrilled to post your image of a Mourning Cloak Caterpillar.  Theyy do wander in search of a suitable site to undergo metamorphosis, and we have several images in our archive of Mourning Cloak chrysalides under the eaves of homes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s that Caterpillar?
Location: Mariposa area in Sierra Foothills, CA
April 3, 2017 9:09 am
Hello,
We were romping around our property in the Central Sierra Foothills this past weekend and observed a A LOT of these caterpillars, predominantly on Penstemons, but not exclusively. What are they? Thanks
Signature: Kestrel

Variable Checkerspot Caterpillars

Dear Kestrel,
We quickly identified your Caterpillars as Variable Checkerspot Caterpillars in the subspecies 
Euphydryas chalcedona–a sierra thanks to this BugGuide image.  The Variable Checkerspot is a wide ranging and as its name indicates, variable species, with several subspecies.  There seems to be some question on BugGuide if this is a species, or a subspecies, and we would not rule out that it might be a hybrid, but this information is provided:  “High elevations in Sierra Nevada of California.  Remarks I have difficulty with the idea that this is a subspecies of E. chalcedona and not of E. anicia. It occurs in close proximaty to, and even in the same places as dark, more ‘typical’ E. chalcedona, yet is different. However, all the books and listings I can find place it under this species. The rational for this placement is the structure of the male genitalia. This is an overall orange butterfly that is found in the Sierra Nevada of California and a bit into mountains of adjacent Nevada.  A similar situation exists northward in the Cascades, where similarly orange-colored populations are also placed in E. chalcedona (or E. colon) based on details of genitalia.  [comment by David J. Ferguson 11-27-08].”

Variable Checkerspot Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: identify
Location: Korat.Thailand
December 4, 2016 1:46 am
Found thi caterpillar on a plant in the garden.Have not been able to identify it ,despite trying many sites.Have found one similar but not identical.
Signature: roberthai

Striped Blue Crow Caterpillar

Striped Blue Crow Caterpillar

Dear roberthai,
Based on images posted to Butterfly Circle, Fotolia and Project Noah, we feel confident that this is the Caterpillar of a Striped Blue Crow,
Euploea mulciber.  Butterflies of Singapore has a nice page detailing the life cycle of the Striped Blue Crow.  

Striped Blue Crow Caterpillar

Striped Blue Crow Caterpillar

thankyou.I dont think i ve spotted that one yet.It is certainly a cool  caterpillar.I used to collect butterflies and moths as a boy.Im 67 now
and still find them fascinating.Thankyou once again.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: monarchs
Location: Westhampton Beach, NY
November 13, 2016 8:47 am
Dear Bugman,
I planted lots of butterfly weed in my yard & had so many monarch caterpillars this year! But now it is cold here in the northeast (east end of Long Island, NY) and I still see some. The problem is, the plants are dying and the caterpillars don’t have much to eat. Is there a way to save the larvae? There is one chrysalis hanging on a dead leaf. You can already see the wings inside. Will this hatch successfully & fly south? Thanks.
Signature: Elaine

Prepupal Monarch Caterpillar

Prepupal Monarch Caterpillar

Hi Elaine,
Alas, we cannot state with any certainty that your soon to emerge Monarch will successfully complete its migration voyage.  In nature’s effort to preserve populations, and because of the uncertainty of weather, insects may continue to reproduce past the time that they would complete metamorphosis before inclement weather begins.  From year to year, that date changes.  Like you, we will hope for the best.  If you cannot feed the larvae on milkweed, we don’t think your existing caterpillars will survive.

Thanks so much for your quick response.  I’ll see if I can find some local “weed” to feed them!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination