Currently viewing the category: "Cutworms and Owlet Caterpillars"

What are these bugs
Please help ID. The green hairy caterpillar with black spikes was crawling on a log my grandson was target shooting. Photo taken late Sept/early Oct in Brown County, OH (Southwestern Ohio farmland). Green caterpillar walking on a board under a green ash tree on the farm 9-26. How do I know if you have ID’d this photos when I go to your website? Thanks.
Mary Jo White

Hi Mary Jo,
This is some type of Dagger Moth. We try to write directly to people and we post the best and most interesting letters and photos.

I have finally ID’d the green caterpillar with black spikes. In Caterpillars of Eastern North America by David L. Wagner, pg. 337, Cottonwood Dagger Moth, Acronicta lepusculina, Noctuidae. Yeah!

Caterpillar ID?
I live in Colorado and spotted this caterpillar on a Patterson Aster (Machaeranthera pattersonii) and have been unable to identify it? Could you help?

Hi Tony,
We would love to help. This is a Brown Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar, Cucullia convexipennis. We do have one photo on one of our caterpillar pages, but the coloration is a slight variation. They feed on asters as well as goldenrod.

Thanks for your help in identifying the Cimbex Sawfly Larvae last year, this is my question for this year. Thanks
Kim Baker
Park Ranger
Caesar Creek Lake
Waynesville, Ohio

Hi again Kim,
This year you have a new species for us, the Brown Hooded Owlet Moth Caterpillar, Cucullia convexipennis. Your photo shows it on one of its food plants, goldenrod. It also eats asters.

My mother found this handsome catapillar while picking huckleberries in North Idaho. There is a huckleberry in the photo for scale. We would love to know what it is!
Thank you!

Hi Natalie,
We tried unsuccessfully to identify this awesome caterpillar and Eric Eaton couldn’t help us either. Then today, 21 September, we received the following email from him: “Remember that weird caterpillar with the spatulate tentacles coming out of it? I think I have an ID. I was looking through Portfolio, the software that we are storing our field guide images on, and came up with this: Acronicta funeralis. It is a Noctuidae moth larva known as the Paddle Caterpillar, appropriately enough:-) Eric ” Then we did additional web searching and found it on a new website, at least for us, The USGS site Caterpillars of the Pacific Northwest Forests and Woodlands.

Got it!
Good morning, Daniel.
I think that I may have found the name of that caterpillar recently found munching on goldenrod leaves.. A friend of mine suggests that it is a “Brown-Hooded Owlet” caterpillar. What do you think? Here’s a picture of a unicorn caterpillar that you may find of interest.

Brown Hooded Owlet Caterpillar Unicorn Caterpillar

Hi again Colin,
We checked with BugGuide and agree with your nicely researched identification of the Brown Hooded Owlet Moth, Cucullia convexipennis. Your other caterpillar is one of the Prominent Moths, but we never heard the common name Unicorn Caterpillar. Ater checking Caterpillars of the Eastern Forests, we see you have correctly identified Schizura unicornis.

I have grown tomatoes for many, many years and this is a first for me. I have enclosed a picture. Can you identify the larva/pupa? that is building the cocoon on my tomato? Good bug – bad bug? Thanks so much for your help.
Pat in Ida

Dear Pat,
That is one beautiful tomato. The caterpillar might be an Omnivorous Looper, Sabulodes aegrotata which matures into a medium sized rather pretty moth, however they are still garden pests. They defoliate my mint plants every year and also eat the leaves from my roses. As their name implies, they eat most any plant. They are very abundant in city gardens. During the day, the caterpillar hides in a loose webby shelter that they spin in a leaf fold, or between leaves, or in your case, on a ripe tomato. They will probably not chew the tomatoes, just the leaves.