Currently viewing the category: "moth caterpillars"

Subject: Caterpillars!
Location: Benson, North Carolina
September 5, 2015 8:25 am
Dear Bugman,
I think I have an idea of what this caterpillar is but what I have a question about is what kind of plant its on and what the possibility is of other plants like it being around here. Your response will be very well appreciated.
Sincerely
Signature: Cory

Tersa Hornworm

Tersa Hornworm

Dear Cory,
You stated that you “have an idea of what this caterpillar is” though you did not provide that identification.  Your images show both green and brown color variations of the Tersa Sphinx Hornworms, and according to BugGuide, they feed upon:  “Madder Family, Rubiaceae, including Smooth buttonplant (
Spermacoce glabra), starclusters (Pentas species), Borreria, Manettia; and Bignoniaceae: Catalpa. Also noted, in North Carolina, from Virginia Buttonweed, Diodia virginiana, also in the Rubiaceae.”  Though we are not “What’s That Plant?” we believe they are feeding on Virginia Buttonweed based on the images posted to Backyard Nature.

Tersa Hornworms

Tersa Hornworms

Subject:  Pinecone-like Cocoon
Location:  Jacksonville, FL
August 27, 2015
Hi Bugman,
Today I found this
2 1/2″ long cocoon on a cedar tree.  It’s a brilliantly designed and constructed little pinecone-like structure. (It also reminds me of a log cabin.)
Would you please identify it for me?
Thank you,
L Welch

Bagworm Cocoon

Bagworm Cocoon

Dear L Welch,
This is the cocoon of a Bagworm, a species of moth in the family Psychidae.  A Bagworm Caterpillar constructs a shelter from silk and bits of the plants upon which it is feeding, enlarging the bag as the caterpillar grows.  The caterpillar never leaves the bag, and eventually pupates inside the bag.  Your Bagworm is in the pupal stage, as it is no longer mobile.

Subject: what is this?
Location: Putnam, CT 06260
August 26, 2015 1:20 pm
We found 2 of these caterpillars today (August 26,2015) in Putnam, CT while we were trimming bushes. The crew is very curious what they are as none of us had ever seen anything like it before. Each one was about 5 inches long and they were eating a vine-like weed growing inside a forsythia bush. We found them between 11:00 AM and 1:00PM.
Everyone also wanted to know if they were poisonous. It looks like there are barbs or stingers on the body, guessing for protection?
Thank you do your help! Hope to hear back from you.
Signature:  Steve Gallant and The Crew at Eclipse Landscaping

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

Dear Steve and Crew,
Your impressive caterpillars are Cecropia Moth Caterpillars, and the fleshy protuberances are not barbs or stingers.  Cecropia Moth Caterpillars pose no threat to humans.  Your large individuals have probably attained maximum growth and they will soon spin a cocoon and molt into a pupa that will overwinter, with the adult Cecropia Moth emerging next spring.  We are very curious what vine they were feeding upon, because according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of various trees and shrubs including alder, apple, ash, beech, birch, box-elder, cherry, dogwood, elm, gooseberry, maple, plum, poplar, white oak, willow. may also feed on lilac and tamarack.”

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

 

Subject: Swallowtail?
Location: Milpa Alta, Mexico
August 28, 2015 1:26 pm
About 4 inches long
Picture taken Aug 14, 2015
Signature: Leo Perez

Hornworm from Mexico

Hornworm from Mexico

Hi Leo,
This is not a Swallowtail caterpillar.  It is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth in the family Sphingidae, but we have still not been able to identify it to the species level.

Update:  September 4, 2015
Thanks to a comment from Bostjan Dvorak, we are able to provide a species name of
Xylophanes falco, a species that ranges north into parts of Arizona, and BugGuide has some nice images of the hornworm.

Subject: What’s that caterpillar
Location: North Carolina
August 27, 2015 7:19 am
Hi Bugman! I love your site! I used you years ago and remembered you today when my daughter found this caterpillar. I was pleasantly suprised that you are still online. Thank you! She found this in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when weeding her garden. She only noticed it because it jagged or stung her arm. Not sure what it was feeding on. Thank you for your time.
Signature: Marsha

Saddleback Caterpillar

Saddleback Caterpillar

Dear Marsha,
The stinging capabilities of the Saddleback Caterpillar,
Acharia stimulea, are well documented online including on Featured Creatures where it states:  “The saddleback caterpillar is encountered most frequently as a medically significant pest, and has minor effects in landscaping and agriculture.”

Subject: Are these wasp larvae on a laurel sphinx caterpillar?
Location: Michigan
August 27, 2015 6:21 pm
I found this intriguing caterpillar today, and I think it is a laurel sphinx caterpillar. But what are those things on its back? Could those be wasp larvae?
Signature: J. McGuire

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar with Parasites

Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar with Parasites

Dear J. McGuire,
We agree that this is a Laurel Sphinx Caterpillar, and it does appear to have parasites, however, the parasitoid looks very different from the typical Braconid infestation pictured on Featured Creatures that is typically seen on the Laurel Sphinx and other Hornworms.  We will continue to try to locate a similar looking image and try to identify the species of Parasitoid.