Currently viewing the category: "brush footed butterfly caterpillars"

I was wondering what the bug showed in the pictures is called. We found it on a nettle (Palude Brabbia Inarzo – Varese – Italy) Thanks a lot,

Hi Alessandro,
Most butterflies in the genus Vanessa, including Painted Ladies and Red Admirals (or Red Admirables according to Nabokov), have spiny caterpillars that feed on nettles. Your caterpillar is one of the Vanessa species.

4 bug pix, ID for spider?
Sent some of these earlier, but got an error message so I’m trying again. First one is a caterpillar found on my passion flower vine, second one is a katydid in the basil. third is a spider (orb weaver?), the last is my favorite spider picture, great green and brown coloring. Can you ID the last one? Thanks! Love your site, found it when I was trying to ID a scary
bug which turned out to be a Jerusalem cricket.
Donna B.
San Diego

Hi Donna,
Your caterpillar is a Gulf Fritallary, Agraulis vanillae, which feeds on the passion flower. The adult butterfly is a pretty orange with silver spots. It is not a true fritallary.

Can you identify this little guy for me?

Dear Karen,
It might be a Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele, whose spiny caterpillars feed on violets. The butterflies are beautiful and well worth sacrificing a few viola.

The little guy hasn’t eaten much…….it seems well worth it……

(7/5/2003) Dear Bugman,
Thanks so much for the fast reply, and you were right on target (even if I did throw in the bit about the teeth – – I’m a professional writer – – what can I say – – ). I’m delighted to discover that he is a Giant Swallowtail. I’ll nurture him and let him eat my lemon tree as much as he wants! I had continued to research last night, and I had mistaken him for a “horned” catepillar from Cuba (the photo was very similar). Perhaps this is why he didn’t respond to Spanish when I spoke to him!
Thanks again for your assistance. Your site is gret!

Editor’s Note: We lost Sarah’s original letter, which had a crazy exaggerated description. Here is a photo of an Orange Dog though.