Currently viewing the category: "brush footed butterfly caterpillars"

Subject:  Chrysalis in SE Michigan
Geographic location of the bug:  SE Michigan
Date: 10/19/2018
Time: 11:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These (2) are in my yard.  The immediate area is a vernal marsh area, with swamp milkweed.  They are not on the milkweed, but it is close by.
How you want your letter signed:  Bill Jones

Parasitized Monarch Chrysalis

Dear Bill,
Physically, this appears to be a Monarch chrysalis, however the color is not normal.  A normal Monarch chrysalis is bright green with gold flecks, and as it nears the time for the adult to emerge, the orange wings appears through the exoskeleton.  Your chrysalis appears to have fallen prey to a parasite, probably a Tachinid Fly like the chrysalis pictured on Monarch Lover

Subject:  What kind of butterfly is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Taylors SC (Upstate SC)
Date: 10/02/2018
Time: 01:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Is this a type of Gulf Fritillary butterfly? We have about 25 chrysalis hanging on the back of our house. This one (2nd pic) hasn’t opened it’s wings yet, but I didn’t see any orange underneath, like the pictures I found online.
Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Tina C

Newly Emerged Gulf Fritillary

Dear Tina,
We love your image of the wall with various stages of development of Gulf Fritillaries.  Your close-ups are of a pre-pupal Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar and a newly eclosed adult Gulf Fritillary.  The dorsal surface of its wings are orange.  You must have a passion flower vine nearby.

Gulf Fritillaries: Stages of Metamorphosis

Pre-Pupal Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Subject:  Stinbug sucking on a monarch caterpillar.
Geographic location of the bug:  Western New York State
Date: 08/09/2018
Time: 09:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My wife was so excited to see a monarch caterpillar in our garden today (8/9/2018), only to discover that its “friend” was sucking its insides out.  I could tell the vampire was a true bug, but I had thought they mostly drank plant sap. How specific are they? Does it specialize in monarchs or does  feed  other larvae? Thanks! You guys are awesome!
How you want your letter signed:  Mark VanDerwater

Spined Soldier Bug preys on Monarch Caterpillar

Dear Mark,
While most Stink Bugs feed on fluids from plants, one subfamily, Asopinae, is predatory.  We believe we have correctly identified your Predatory Stink Bug as
Apoecilus cynicus thanks to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “mostly feeds on caterpillars” but luckily they do not limit their diet to solely Monarch Caterpillars so relocating the Predatory Stink Bug far from the milkweed, perhaps in the vegetable patch, would be our solution to repeating this scenario in the future. 

Thank you Daniel! I was poking around insect sights too and came up with the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris. Known to prefer lepidoptera larvae. Also has the dark abdominal tip.

Hi Mark,
We agree that you have provided us with a correction.  The Spined Soldier Bug is another member of the Predatory Stink Bug subfamily, and this BugGuide image is a good match, and the BugGuide description “Black streak on wing membrane + spined humeri are diagnostic” matches your image.  Thanks for bringing this misidentification to our attention. 

Subject:  Caterpillar ID?
Geographic location of the bug:  Indianapolis
Date: 07/24/2018
Time: 08:19 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this caterpillar and can’t figure out the type! Small, like the width of a thumb. Strange head. Thanks for the help! Found on a recently fallen oak tree, still with live leaves.
How you want your letter signed:  Ryan

Emperor Caterpillar

Dear Ryan,
This is an Emperor Caterpillar in the genus
Asterocampa and here is a BugGuide image for reference.  We don’t believe they feed on oak.  Is there a hackberry shrub near where the oak fell?

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Luang Prabang, Laos
Date: 07/03/2018
Time: 05:28 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  What is this and is it poisonous?
How you want your letter signed:  Dean Burkhalter

Baron Caterpillar

Dear Dean,
We believe this is an Baron caterpillar from the genus
Euthalia, and to the best of our knowledge, it is not poisonous.  There is an image on Butterfly Circle and one on FlickR to support our identification.  A Check List of Butterflies of Indo-China verifies the genus is present in Laos.

Subject:  Gold spiked chrysalis
Geographic location of the bug: n South Central Va
Date: 06/18/2018
Time: 06:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
Thank you for all of your hard work over the years, I’ve found you again after some time.
I really just want to share with you my photos, it might be something you’ll appreciate.
How you want your letter signed:  From Juicy – Steady as she goes

Variegated Fritillary Chrysalis

Dear Juicy-Steady as she goes,
This beautiful chrysalis is that of a Variegated Fritillary.