Currently viewing the category: "Cutworms and Owlet Caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar ID?
Geographic location of the bug:  Occoquan National Wildlife Refuge, Occoquan, Virginia
Date: 09/08/2018
Time: 05:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel,
I observed (and guarded) this Caterpillar crossing the road, and I can’t seem to find a reference with anything even close. Perhaps you can help? Thanks in Advance.
How you want your letter signed:  Seth

Yellow Necked Caterpillar

Dear Seth,
Based on this BugGuide image, we are confident this is a Yellow Necked Caterpillar,
Datana ministra.  According to BugGuide:  “Early instars feed gregariously and skeletonize leaves.  The larvae feed on Malus, Quercus, Betula and Salix species. Young larvae skeletonise the leaves of their host plant. Later, they feed on all of the leaf except the leaf stalk. They feed in groups.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillars
Geographic location of the bug:  New Jersey
Date: 08/26/2018
Time: 12:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would like to identify this bug
How you want your letter signed:  Kenneth ueland

American Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Dear Kenneth,
This is an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar,
Acronicta americana, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of alder, ash, birch, elm, hickory, maple, oak, poplar, walnut, willow and other deciduous trees.”


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What caterpillar is this?
Geographic location of the bug:  Tucson, AZ
Date: 08/15/2018
Time: 12:45 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you please tell me what kind of Caterpillar this is?  It is on top of my buckhorn cholla  plant.
How you want your letter signed:  Maureen C.

Staghorn Cholla Moth Caterpillar

Dear Maureen,
Thanks so much for letting us know you found this Caterpillar on a buckhorn cholla.  Often knowing the food plant upon which an insect is found is of tremendous help in making an identification, and it only took us about a minute to find this BugGuide image of a Staghorn Cholla Moth Caterpillar,
Euscirrhopterus cosyra.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed externally on cactus, rather than boring inside like many other cactus-feeders.”

Thank you Daniel! I would have never figured this out. I’m new to Arizona and have never seen anything like this.
It is a fascinating looking caterpillar! Thank you again for your help.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  caterpillar?
Geographic location of the bug:  near Luang Prabang, Laos
Date: 08/07/2018
Time: 09:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this thing that looks like a caterpillar hanging on a tree at Kuang Si Waterfalls, Laos. (Date: 5 Aug 2018). Couldn’t find anything about this!
How you want your letter signed:  Elisabeth

Fruit Piercing Moth Caterpillar

Dear Elisabeth,
We quickly identified your Fruit Piercing Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Eudocima thanks to images on the Australian site Butterfly House where Eudocima fullonia ranges, and the site indicates:  “The species occurs in Asia and the south-west Pacific, for example: Hawaii, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Thailand,” which probably means Laos as well.  There are also some nice images of the caterpillar on FlickRiver.  We have several images on our site of Fruit Piercing Moths, but to the best of our memory (we have been posting for 16 years) this is the first image we have posted of the Caterpillar.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What kind of caterpillar?
Geographic location of the bug:  In Calgary, Alberta on a mat in truck
Date: 07/09/2018
Time: 02:06 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey there, just curious what kind if caterpillar this is? It was found on a mat. Underneath is same color but each “section” has a brown-orange spot. I tried to get it onto a leaf to get it outside and it was like a ninja doing backflips and freaking out! Never seen a caterpillar move that fast! Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  K Hunter

Underwing Caterpillar, we believe

Dear K Hunter,
This looks to us like an Underwing Caterpillar in the genus
Catocala.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Tomato caterpillars
Geographic location of the bug:  St. Elizabeth, Jamaica
Date: 04/09/2018
Time: 09:04 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello Bugman!
I’ve  been enjoying your website for years  and I am now excited to submit my first question! I am a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Jamaica and my host father is growing some of the most beautiful tomatoes in the entire world. However there is an aggressive caterpillar pest Wreaking havoc on his produce. I am trying to encourage less toxic methods to deal with such pests in the community and I was hoping that you could identify the species of caterpillar for me in order to create a more targeted management method. Thank you so much for your help and keep up the good work!
How you want your letter signed:  Farming PCV


Dear Farming PCV,
This is some species of Cutworm in the family Noctuidae, and many caterpillars in the family look very similar.  Our internet search did turn up images on Minden Pictures of the Caterpillar of the Large Yellow Underwing,
Noctua pronuba, feeding on the leaves of a tomato plant, and BugGuide states “Larvae feed on a variety of crops and vegetables, plus grasses”, but even though we see a similarity, we do not believe that is your species.  We found an image on Colourbox that is identified as a Turnip Moth cutworm, Agrotis segetum, eating a tomato, and it resembles your culprit, but other images of this caterpillar we located on the internet are brown and we cannot confirm that identification either.  Both species we have mentioned are Old World species, but the Large Yellow Underwing has been introduced to North America.  We found additional images of brown Cutworms eating tomatoes on Dreamstime and then we believe we found your culprit on Alamy where it is identified as a “Bright-line Brown-eye moth, also known as tomato moth (Lacanobia oleracea).”  According to UK Moths: “Favouring suburban habitats as well as salt-marshes, the larval foodplants in the wild are usually orache (Atriplex) and goosefoot (Chenopodium), but it can sometimes attack cultivated tomatoes, feeding internally in the fruit.”  Wikipedia does not list Jamaica nor any other New World location, but that does not mean the species has not been introduced.  It might just be undocumented at this time.  Wildlife Insight offers the following advice:  “To prevent the adult moths from laying eggs on the plants some fine mesh should be placed over the greenhouse windows between May and August. Doors left open during the day to allow bees to enter should be netted off if left open at night.  If growing tomatoes outdoors then the whole plant will have be cloaked in netting.  Any clusters of eggs are usually easy to find on the underside of the leaves and can then be scrapped off.  At the first sign of fenestrations appearing in tomato leaves check the undersides for the tiny caterpillars.  The location of the feeding caterpillars is often given away by fine dark freckling of frass on the leaves directly beneath those being eaten.”


Thank you so very much for your assistance!

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination