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

Subject:  Luna Moth Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Eagle River, Wisconsin
Date: 10/01/2019
Time: 10:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this caterpillar on a nearby wooded pathway yesterday, and didn’t know what it was or where it was going–end of September can usher in very cold temperatures here.  So, at home we identified it as a Luna Moth Caterpillar.  We want to properly release it back into the wild.  It would be lovely to have seen it develop into the moth, but we don’t feel confident that we can keep it healthy.  Will it over-winter here in the North?  or Will it still be able to mate yet this autumn?  It was found under a soft Maple tree quite close to a lake and alder bushes near the lake and surrounding wetland.  I was even wondering if it could drown?  Thank you for information so that we can release it soon and get it on its way to the right environment.
How you want your letter signed:  The Rasmussens

Polyphemus Caterpillar

Dear Rasmussens,
Luna Moth Caterpillars and Polyphemus Moth Caterpillars can be difficult to distinguish from one another.  We believe your caterpillar is a Polyphemus Caterpillar.  The identifying feature is a pale yellow band that runs through the spiracles or breathing holes on the Polyphemus Caterpillar.  It is described on BugGuide as:  “Larva: body large, bright green, with red and silvery spots below setae, and oblique yellow lines running through spiracles on abdomen; diagonal streak of black and silver on ninth abdominal segment; head and true legs brown; base of primary setae red, subdorsal and lateral setae have silver shading below; end of prolegs with yellow ring, and tipped in black.”  At this time of year in your location, we speculate this individual is preparing to pupate and it will overwinter in the cocoon.  Caterpillars are not aquatic.  They can drown.

Dear Daniel:?? Thank you for the information.?? It is nice to know what it is– Polyphemus, not Luna, and that it will overwinter.?? It started spinning yesterday between two leaves in the leaf litter at the bottom of the container, currently in our garage.?? So now, we will have to decide the next step:?? possibly to get info on overwintering it in our refrigerator with a constant temperature or it will be subjected to?? subzero temperatures for much of our Northern Wisconsin winter.?? If you had thoughts and time on this, don’t hesitate to drop a line.?? We appreciate and feel fortunate to have had your communication.?? Much of the information we were finding is not specific in details or confusing.???? –Patty & Eric Rasmussen

Dear Patty and Eric,
We do not raise caterpillars, but in captivity, one needs to be cognizant of temperature and humidity.  Too warm and the moth will emerge prematurely.  Too damp or too dry it might not survive.  We would recommend keeping it outdoors in a protected location where it will benefit from precipitation, but not get too wet.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fuzzy Wuzzy Friend
Geographic location of the bug:  Holly Springs, MS
Date: 09/27/2019
Time: 10:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi again Daniel!
A previous Bug Queen here. I have a new friend I have since freed to the yard. Would you please be so kind as to identify my fuzzy wuzzy pal?
How you want your letter signed:  Your biggest fan, Stephanie

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Stephanie,
This looks like a Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota tessellaris, to us, and though it is a variably colored caterpillar, it does match the individual in this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of alder, ash, birch, elm, hazel, hickory, oak, poplar, tulip tree, walnut, willow.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Large green caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Bangor ME
Date: 09/19/2019
Time: 06:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this caterpillar walking across the driveway toward the grass.  Having trouble identifying it.  Would appreciate your help.
How you want your letter signed:  PH

Modest Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear PH,
This is the caterpillar of a Modest Sphinx or Poplar Sphinx,
Pachysphinx modesta, and we identified on Sphingidae of the Americas where it states:  ”  These hornworms feed upon poplar, willow, and cottonwood, are very strong and develop to quite a size.  Larvae progress very rapidly on poplar. The green of the early hornworm instars is very much like the top of the poplar leaf while the pale green of the final instar more closely resembles the color of the underside of poplar leaves.  Larvae are extremely strong with powerful mandibles.”  The caudal horn on the Modest Sphinx Caterpillar is quite insignificant compared to the horns of other caterpillars in the family.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What caterpillar and moth or butterfly will this be
Geographic location of the bug:  Chapala, mexico
Date: 09/15/2019
Time: 03:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  My friend sent me a pic of this caterpillar from Chapala Mexico. After looking online I found hornworm caterpillars. Which one is this and what moth or butterfly does it turn into. Also what is the purpose of the horn?
How you want your letter signed:  Sarah

Unknown Hornworm

Dear Sarah,
We are very confident that this is a Hornworm in the family Sphingidae, and that it will eventually transform into a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth, but alas, we have not been successful identifying its species despite the excellent database on Sphingidae of the Americas.  We will write to Bill Oehlke to see if he can provide a species identification.

Bill Oehlke Responds.
Hi Daniel, I think I have seen that one before, but a quick check did not let me come up with an id. Later this afternoon I will send it to Jean Haxaire to see if he knows what it is.
Bill

Daniel,
Jean Haxaire has indicated Isognathus rimosus inclitus.
I wish permission to post it to website. Please check with photographer and forward his or her name.
Bill

Ed. Note:  The subspecies Isognathus rimosus inclitus is pictured on Sphingidae of the Americas, but there is no larval image.  We are writing back to Sarah with the identification and a request from Bill Oehlke to include the image on his comprehensive site.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much. I’m checking with my friend and am getting an exact location if possible. I’m sure she’ll be alright with sharing, but will get back to you tomorrow.
Sarah

Hi Daniel,
Pilar Martinez is the photographer and the pic was taken in Chapala, Jalisco , Mexico
Pilar has said ok to sharing the image. I’m copying her on this email.
Thank you so much for the identification and glad to contribute to the database.
Please send us a link when it’s up.

Thanks Sarah and Pilar,
Pilar’s image is already live on What’s That Bug? and Bill Oehlke will post it to the species page for
 Isognathus rimosus inclitus on his site, Sphingidae of the Americas, where he has adult moths of  pictured, but no caterpillars.

Bill Oehlke’s website:
Hi Daniel,
Please say thanks to Sarah and Pilar for me and let them know Isognathus rimosus inclitus image has been posted to
http://www.silkmoths.bizland.com/Sphinx/irimoinc.htm
Bill Oehlke

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Spiky caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  New York State
Date: 09/07/2019
Time: 01:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
This was taken today in New York State.  I’ve searched trying to indenting this one but it has me stumped. Any info would be much appreciated. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Kat

Buck Moth Caterpillar

Dear Kat,
Based on this BugGuide image, your caterpillar appears to be that of a Buck Moth,
Hemileuca maia.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution, caterpillars can inflict painful sting.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  LARGE green caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Middle Georgia
Date: 08/28/2019
Time: 12:33 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This guy (girl?) showed up on my patio cover (canvas). It’s about 3 inches long and probably an inch around. (BIG joker). Thought maybe Luna Moth. Some one said maybe Imperial Moth. I know Lunas are endangered and I want to do the right thing. Don’t plan on hurting it or anything just curious about what it is.
How you want your letter signed:  Curious in GA

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Dear Curious in GA,
This is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar.  Many Giant Silkmoth Caterpillars from the family Saturniidae and Hornworms from the family Sphingidae pass unnoticed on vegetation while they are feeding.  Fully grown caterpillars then hunt for a suitable place for pupation  They leave the food plant and at that time they are frequently discovered by observant humans.  When we receive images of pre-pupal Imperial Moth Caterpillars, they have frequently turned brown or orange as metamorphosis nears.  Your green individual might still be feeding

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination