Currently viewing the category: "brush footed butterfly caterpillars"
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Caterpillar
I saw these caterpillars while on vacation on the island of Samui in Thailand. I thought they were beautiful and wanted to know more about them.

We have no idea what these caterpillars are, but they are so beautiful, we are posting the letter hoping someone will identify them. If we were on a game show and had to venture a guess, we would say a butterfly in the Nymphalidae Family. Certain members of that family have spines and social behavior, like the Mourning Cloak.

(04/10/2007) Caterpillar Identifications
Hello WTB,
Having reared and photographed several hundred species of butterflies (no time for moths) for the past 25+ years, I thought you’d appreciate knowing two IDs that I noticed while quickly scanning your caterpillar pages last night . . . Thai Caterpillars (01/24/2006) — “Leopard lacewing”, Cethosia cyane (Nymphalidae, Heliconiinae, Acraeini); larval foodplant: primarily Adenia and some Passiflora (both Passifloraceae). See photo of adult and caterpillar at < http://www.hkls-forum.org/viewtopic.php?t=671 > . I hope this information is helpful and of some interest. Best wishes,
Keith Wolfe
Antioch, CA

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can you tell me what this is?
I was wondering what will emerge from this cocoon. It is located on a palm tree in my front yard?
Thanks.
Laurie Rose
Olde Naples Chocolate
Naples FL

Hi Laurie,
We would love to receive a complimentary gift of chocolate for identifying your Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis.

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ID help
Hi,
I just recently purchased your calendar for 2006, and the timing couldn’t have been better because now I know where to turn with my rather surprising discovery that a couple of plants in my yard have some visitors. They are green and black striped caterpillars with some white dots, as you can see. There must be about 10 of them on the one plant. I pulled one off for a close-up photo, and he rolled up. They don’t seem to have eaten much of the plant (yet?), but somebody has been eating the purple sage nearby. I assume they’re going to turn into lovely butterflies, so I’m inclined to leave them where they are. But if they pose a problem for the surrounding fruit trees (fig, orange) or vegetables in the backyard, then I might not take as kindly to them. Who are these guys, and what if anything should I do with them? Thanks for your help,
Peter in L.A.

Hi Peter,
We are thrilled you are enjoying your calendar. According to a photo in our Hogue book, Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, this is a Virginia Lady Caterpillar, Vanessa virginiensis, and according to Hogue: “it is scarce in the basin in comparison to either of the other two species. There are at least three members of the genus Vanessa, known as Ladies, and the Painted Lady and West Coast Lady are the two more common species. The Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui is probably the most well known since it is prone to mass migrations. I have seen hundreds of Painted Ladies on sunny spring days in the desert. The caterpillar food preferences of all three species are similar, and include Hollyhocks, Cheeseweed (Malva parviflora) a common weed found in vacant lots, thistles, and nettles. They will not harm your fruit trees. A fourth member of the genus is known as the Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta, and was a favorite butterfly of Vladimir Nabokov. Leave the caterpillars be and nature will take its course.

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Dear Whatsthatbug:
Is it possible that the squeaky wheel might get the grease? We emailed a week or so ago and we are still dying to find out what in the world this is! We know it is some type of pupa, chrysalis, cocoon, but of WHAT? It was about 1 inch long (maybe a little longer) attached to the concrete side of a covered bridge in South Central PA. The most intriguing thing about it to us, is the fact that it was as hard and shiny as the chrome on my husband’s Harley. So give us an idea….what IS this thing?
Signed,
Squeaky and curious

Ed. Note: We were dragging our feet on this one, and Squeeky found the answer.

I thought you might be interested in another response I got while waiting for yours. This guy seems to think that this is a variegated fritillary pupa, which when I looked it up seems to be more of a fit. The caterpillars look very similar. Here is a photo I found of it on the web. http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/johnson/hort/Butterfly/images/VarFrit04.jpg Thank you for your help! I’ve never been much of a bug enthusiast, but since finding your site, have really taken a keen interest in this!
Julie

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caterpiller identy
i cant name it… would you beable to help. found on my house on the part just below the door. tomorrow in the sun if its still there ill try to take a better picture of it.

This is a Buckeye Butterfly Caterpillar, Junonia coenia. Our guess is that if you take a photo tomorrow, you will find something very different, a chrysalis. The position of the caterpillar, hanging head down with a “C” curve indicates this. The caterpillar left its food source, possibly Snap Dragons in your garden, and sought the side of the house as a safe place to pupate.

(10/03/2005) Buckeye Caterpillar update
thanks for letting me know what it was.. heres some new pictures taken today,

Correction (07/02/2006)
The caterpillar and pupae identified as Buckeye is a Variegated Fritillary. Do you know how to tell the difference between the Viceroy and Red-spotted Purple? I wrote about them a moment ago and later saw a response on your site which mentioned the similarity. I’ve reared hundreds but always together and never took the time to try to differentiate. Don’t forget to order your free butterfly eggs and free butterfly plant seeds!
Thanks
Edith Smith
Shady Oak Butterfly Farm
Butterflies for Every Occasion! Celebratory Releases
12876 SW CR 231, Brooker, FL 32622
352-485-2458
http://www.butterfliesetc.com

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gulf fritillary caterpillars
We planted passion vines here in Alamo, Tn. just to get these beauties and they are here in droves. Love your site,
Beth and Rick

Hi Beth and Rick,
We are thrilled that your caterpillar cultivation was a success. We just saw hundreds of Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars on a sad looking passionflower vine in the parking lot at Big Mama’s Bar-Be-Que in Altadena, CA.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination