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

Brown hairy caterpillar id
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
June 24, 2011 4:35 pm
Long brown hairs, about 3-4cm long. Thought it might be a Garden Tiger Moth. Spotted June 20, 2011 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Signature: Wildlife & Plant Sightings,

Black Woolly Bear

Dear Wildlife and Plant Sightings,
We agree with your identification, but we would like to provide some clarification according to BugGuide.  Since the species
Arctia caja is found in Europe as well as North America, the common name differs in the new world and old world.  The Garden Tiger Moth is known as the Great Tiger Moth in North America.  The caterpillar is simply a Woolly Bear in Europe, but in North America it is called the Black Woolly Bear to distinguish it from other Tiger Moth Caterpillars.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note: Please use our official submission form for every photo sent to our website.  The form has the disclaimer about our right to publish your letters and images.  We learned about 8 hours after this image was published that it was not submitted by the photographer.  Since we have no entomologists on staff, many of the images we receive need to be researched.  We are very reluctant to spend valuable time researching the identity of creatures that we will not be able to publish photos of on our site.  We have countless images available to the web browsing public because so many of our readers now have access to wonderful cameras (and cellular telephones that take pretty good photos as well) and we are thrilled to be able to compile them in a haphazardly organized fashion in our voluminous archives.  Though our writing staff tries its best to be bright, witty and charming, we realize that most web browsers want nice images to accompany the information they are trying to research.

Vermont caterpillar??
Hi Daniel,
Wondering if you can tell me what this caterpillar will turn into!!
Thanks, KT
PS…. I had 3 Luna Moths visit me this week, and got some really good pix. Let me know if you’d like any….

Forest Tent Caterpillar

Dear KT,
This is a Forest Tent Caterpillar,
Malacosoma disstria, and it is found throughout North America including Canada, but it is more common east of the Mississippi River according to BugGuide, where the life cycle is described as:  “One generation per year; larvae spin silken mats on tree trunks and large branches where they congregate to molt or rest from feeding; larvae also deposit silk in strands along which they travel to and from feeding sites; overwinters as larva in masses surrounding tree branches. (Unlike Eastern Tent Caterpillar, this species does not form silken tents.)”.We have no shortage of Luna Moths this year, and we are much happier to have received this particular photo because we promote the diversity of insect life on our website.

Hi again, Daniel,
I was thinking more about the photo, and I can’t imagine my friend will mind that it’s on your site. I took it from her Facebook page, so in a sense, it’s already “public”. I did write to her and sent her your reply to my question. I’m sure she’ll be happy to have the identification.
Go ahead and leave it up on your site, but can you please give photo credit to Jane A. Lindholm? That would be great. I’ll write again if there are any objections on her part.

Hey Daniel,
Just wanted to let you know that Jane wrote to me from Wales. She’s totally fine with her photo being on your site, and was thrilled to DISCOVER your site and to find out what that caterpillar is.
All’s good!
Cool photo of a Cecropia moth my friend Joanne took tonight here in SE Vermont! If by any chance you want to use it, I’ll have her submit it the correct way!

UPDATE:  August 18, 2011
Use of pic for Illinois FFA Forestry contest
August 18, 2011 2:26 pm
Dear Whats That Bug, I am looking for permission to use a few images for use in a FFA forestry contest. The image would be printed once, laminated and used for the contest and for educational purposes only. The pics that I would like to use are at the following url.
Date of the contest is September 20, 2011.
Since the site made me place a pic in the image place, I did! Some sort of flocked insect taken last year while pruning a walnut plantation.
Thank you,
Jim Kirkland
Interim Director
University of Illinois
Illinois Forest Resource Center
Signature: Jim Kirkland

Mating Periodical Cicadas

Dear Jim Kirkland,
Please explain how the photo will be used.  It obviously cannot be entered in the contest by anyone but Jane who took the photo.  The photo you attached depicts mating Periodical Cicadas.

Dear Daniel,
The photo (wp-content/uploads/2011/06/forest_tent_caterpillar_kt.jpg ) would be printed on a  letter sized piece of paper, laminated and used as one of ten questions on a high school FFA forestry contest.  The portion of the test is titled Tree/Forest Disorders, the national FFA (Future Farmers of America) organization is the organizer of this event.   The students would have to identify the insect pest out of a list.  I was not looking to get my mating cicadas identified.  The web interface that your site uses would not let me send the question without downloading something.  However, how about checking out the flocked insect I have loaded up today.
Thank you,
Jim Kirkland
University of Illinois
Illinois Forest Resource Center

You have our permission to use the image of that purpose.  Here is a higher resolution file.


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What is this bug?
Location: San Diego California
June 21, 2011 11:12 pm
Hi, I was wondering if you could identify this catipillar
Signature: Robert Ramirez

Nevada Buck Moth Caterpillar

Hi Robert,
This is now the third report we have gotten in the past few weeks that there are unusually large numbers of Nevada Buck Moth Caterpillars,
Hemileuca nevadensis, in the San Diego area this year.  See here and here for additional photos and information.  Please do not handle Nevada Buck Moth Caterpillars or any related species as the spines can cause a nasty contact dermatitis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Solitary Burrowing Hunting Wasp ?
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
June 20, 2011 4:23 pm
I watched this muscular wasp bring in a large larva. It was right at the entrance to it’s burrow on the beach at D H Day Campground, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan, but seemed nervous with me watching. Instead of taking it into the burrow it dragged up up a small plant nearby. With it safely hid, it buzzed me until I backed away.
Do you know the name of this wasp?
Signature: Bill

Thread Waisted Wasp preys upon Cutworm

Dear Bill,
The Thread-Waisted Wasps in the genus
Ammophila are known to prey upon Cutworms that they use to provision underground nests for their brood.  Of the species represented on BugGuide, we believe your wasp looks the most like Ammophila nigricans.

Thread-Waisted Wasp preys upon Cutworm

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillar id?
Location: belle vernon, pa
June 16, 2011 2:43 pm
I was just wondering what these caterpillars are and if they’re toxic or not. We have thousands here on a large bush and when I noticed them one struck at me. And my 2 year old son plays around and under the bush and I need to know what I should do.. leave them be or remove the bush?
But still I would love to know what they are because they’re quite beautiful.
Signature: Savannah Chamberlain

Catalpa Sphinx Caterpillar

Hi Savannah,
This is the caterpillar of a Catalpa Sphinx,
Ceratomia catalpae.  The excellent Sphingidae of the Americas website does not have any examples of caterpillars with markings like your individual, however, they do state:  “Colouration of mature larvae is somewhat variable, and there appear to be two primary color phases, dark and pale.  In the dark phase, there is a broad, solid black band down the back, bordered by white lines. The sides are yellowish with some black spots and vertical lines.”   BugGuide does have a photo of a Catalpa Sphinx with your coloration.  They are not toxic and they pose no threat.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hemileuca nevadensis – Nevada Buck Moth Larvae?
Location: Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego County, CA, USA
June 19, 2011 11:58 pm
We found several of these caterpillars feeding on wild Willow trees (Salix lasiandra) along the San Diego river in Mission Trails Regional Park. The caterpillars are venomous and will give a painful red rash if handled. We have had these caterpillars for 2 weeks now at home, they seem to be slow growing and slow to progress to the different instars. I have provided them with fresh Salix every day to feed. I believe they may be some form of Buck Moth but have been unable to find the exact species. These seem to have a brighter color and more mottled (not speckled) coloring than the H. nevadensis but not sure?
Signature: Kind Regards, Christine

Buck Moth Caterpillar

Hi Christine,
Thanks for your comments on our previous posting of this Buck Moth Caterpillar and also thank you for submitting your photos.  Bill Oehlke has indicated that despite the color variation, they are
Hemileuca nevadensis.  Caterpillars frequently exhibit color variations.

Buck Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination