Currently viewing the category: "Lycaenid Caterpillars"

Subject:  caterpillar id?
Geographic location of the bug:  oakland california
Date: 08/23/2021
Time: 07:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  my red buckwheat in the oakland hills has these small caterpillars on them.  Any idea what they are?
How you want your letter signed:  Alex

Unknown Gossamer Wing Caterpillar

Dear Alex,
This is the Caterpillar of a Gossamer Winged Butterfly in the family Lycaenidae, but we are not certain of the species.  It might be one of the Hairstreaks like this BugGuide image of a Gray Hairstreak Caterpillar on Buckwheat, or it might be one of the Blues, like this BugGuide image of a Square Spotted Blue Caterpillar also on BuckWheat.

Unknown Gossamer Wing Caterpillar

Thank you for the ID!

Caterpillar in Central Texas
Location: Austin, Texas
April 3, 2011 9:31 pm
We found this caterpillar crawling across the road. Can you help ID it? It kind of looks like a Frosted Elfin or a Green Oakblue but neither of those is supposed to be in Cetral Texas. My sone is taking this to show and tell tomorrow (we will free it in the butterfly garden afterwards), so any help woudl be appreciated (not just for tomorrow). I’ll keep looking on the web..
Thanks
Signature: Karyn and Erik

Great Purple Hairstreak Caterpillar

Dear Karyn and Erik,
Sorry, we are stumped as well.  Sadly, it doesn’t seem to have any distinguishing features.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much anyway. The only feature I could see is what looked like two tiny eyes/ eye shapes close together that both formed the shape of a diamond on the top of the head. I have more pictures of the underside and snout, I could send you if you would like. I will keep looking on the web too.
Have a good day,
Karyn

Great Purple Hairstreak Caterpillar

Hi Daniel,
I think I found it. I believe it is a Great Purple Hairstreak. See this link:
http://www.butterfliesofamerica.com/imagehtmls/Lycaenidae/Atlides_halesus_corcorani_4th_instar_ex_F_05-IV-2008_USA_CA_San_Bernadino_Co_vic_Mt_Manchester_Dead_Mountains_3400_3_i.htm
The diamond shaped mark on the head is almost identical to the caterpillar we found. I have attached a higher res photo that I took, in
case the first one did not make it through.
Your site is great! The second graders loved looking at all the pictures.
Karyn and Erik
Austin,Texas

Thanks for writing back Karyn and Erik.
You did a great job of tracking down the Great Purple Hairstreak Caterpillar’s identity.  We agree that you have found the correct species.  We had to create a new category for Lycaenid Caterpillars.