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

Subject:  What type of catarpillar is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Midwest Missouri
Date: 08/01/2019
Time: 01:51 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello there!
My 6 year old son found this catarpillar outside and we want to know what kind it is. Is it venomous? What type of tree leaves does it eat? And what kind of butterfly will it become? Thanks so much!
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely, Momma of Boys

Common Buckeye Caterpillar

Dear Momma of Boys,
This is a Common Buckeye Caterpillar,
Junonia coenia, and it is perfectly harmless.  The Common Buckeye is a beautiful spotted butterfly.  BugGuide lists host plants as “Plants from the snapdragon family including snapdragon (Antirrhinum), toadflax (Linaria), and Gerardia; the plantain family including plantains (Plantago); and the acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora).”  Butterfly Fun Facts lists Mexican Petunia (Ruellia species) as a host plant.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Painted Lady Caterpillars?
Geographic location of the bug:  Lake County Illinois
Date: 07/24/2019
Time: 07:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I work in a landscape yard so naturally I see a lot of critters. This one was new for me. We have a plant called helichrysum icicles that were covered in little busted open, poop filled,fuzzy tents and these caterpillars wandering aimlessly on the plants. Best I can tell, they are Painted Lady, but I am uncertain.
How you want your letter signed:  Karin

American Lady Caterpillar

Dear Karin,
In our opinion, you have the correct genus but not the correct species.  We believe this is an American Lady Caterpillar,
Vanessa virginiensis, based on this BugGuide image, and not a Painted Lady Caterpillar, Vanessa cardui, which is also pictured on BugGuide.

American Lady Caterpillars

Thank you so much! They didn’t seem to be doing anything destructive, thankfully.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Columbus OH, central
Date: 07/19/2019
Time: 12:30 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this guy while landscaping, was on the ground in some clover weeds. July 18th 2019, 93 degree weather
How you want your letter signed:  Anthony C

Questionmark Caterpillar

Dear Anthony,
This is the caterpillar of a Brush Footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae.  Based on this and other BugGuide images, we are pretty confident this is a Questionmark Caterpillar.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown Caterpillar Eating Petunias
Geographic location of the bug:  Kansas
Date: 07/18/2019
Time: 08:39 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve seen this caterpillar eating the petunias. I googled but was unsuccessful identifying the species. Your help is appreciated.
Sincerely,
How you want your letter signed:  Anna

Common Buckeye Caterpillar

Dear Anna,
We tried to identify your caterpillar this weekend, but we were having trouble accessing BugGuide.  We know this is a Brush-Footed Butterfly Caterpillar in the family Nymphalidae, but we needed to determine the species.  We located this identical caterpillar on BugGuide, but alas, it is only identified to the family level.  This BugGuide image leads us to believe you encountered a Common Buckeye Caterpillar.  BugGuide lists host plants as “Plants from the snapdragon family including snapdragon (
Antirrhinum), toadflax (Linaria), and Gerardia; the plantain family including plantains (Plantago); and the acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora).”  Butterfly Fun Facts lists Mexican Petunia (Ruellia species) as a host plant.

Common Buckeye Caterpillar

Daniel,
From your resources and referring back to the caterpillar I concur it looks like a Common Buckeye Caterpillar.
I greatly appreciate your assistance.  Wishing you a wonderful day!
Anna
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bug Near Monarch Chrysalides
Geographic location of the bug:  Mahopac, NY
Date: 07/20/2019
Time: 03:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
This year is my first year raising monarch butterflies. I came across this small brownish-tan bug on the same leaf as a chrysalis in my potted fuschia plant outside. I didn’t think much of it being a potential parasitic predator until I saw it extend its abdomen downward toward the top of the chrysalis. I pinched off the leaf with the chrysalis and brought it indoors, leaving the other bug outside. One day later I saw another one crawling on top of my monarch habitat/chrysalis support. I’m wondering what this insect is, and if it will cause any harm to the butterfly. I’ve read about parasitic wasps and tachinid flies, but nothing like this. I will definitely be raising monarchs indoors next year, but this was an unexpected experience, one that shows how vulnerable these creatures are. The pictures I’ve attached show the bug on the indoor wooden support, another in the plant outside with the chrysalis, and a separate, tainted chrysalis I found had fallen previously in my fuschia plant. I did take the  withered, fallen chrysalis inside (about 5 days ago) and attached it to the support, and am now wondering if the bug I found iside emerged from that chrysalis…
How you want your letter signed:  Emeline

Monarch Chrysalis and Aphid Wolf

Dear Emeline,
The insect in question is a Lacewing Larva, commonly called an Aphid Wolf.  It is a predator, and we cannot entirely discount that it might try to feed off a Monarch chrysalis, but we doubt that possibility.  It most definitely did not emerge from the Chrysalis.  Lacewing Larvae are generally thought of as beneficial in the garden as they eat Aphids and other small insects, and they hatch from an egg that is suspended above the leaf from a silken thread.

Aphid Wolf

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  CT
Date: 06/30/2019
Time: 05:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I’ve been unable to find this one in my Caterpillars of Eastern North America book, or online.  It was photographed on lam’s quarters, but I don’t know if it was feeding.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks for taking pity on my curiosity!

Questionmark Caterpillar

Dear Tftpomc,
Though the colors seem light by comparison, we believe your caterpillar is that of a Questionmark butterfly,
Polygonia interrogationis, similar to this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination