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

Subject:  What is this chunky boy?
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Utah, Kane County
Date: 08/22/2019
Time: 01:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! I’ve have looked and looked but cannot definitively identify this caterpillar I found a couple days ago. It was in a cottonwood tree. My first thought was a tomato hornworm but the side spots and horn seem too different. Thoughts?
How you want your letter signed:  D. E.

Big Poplar Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear D.E.,
Though this is not a Tomato Hornworm, it is a different species of Hornworm from the family Sphingidae.  We believe it is the Big Poplar Sphinx caterpillar based on the species found Sphingidae of the Americas Utah page.  According to Sphingidae of the Americas:  “Larvae feed on cottonwood and poplar (
Populus) and willow (Salix).”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  West Michigan
Date: 08/23/2019
Time: 05:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Curious what kind of caterpillar this is.
How you want your letter signed:  Sincerely The Crow

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Caterpillar

Dear The Crow,
Were you near a grape vine?  This looks to us like a Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Caterpillar, which is pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  I found evidence of a Budworm on My Woody Plant
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 08/20/2019
Time: 4:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
I was inspecting the nugs of My Woody Plant when I discovered evidence of Budworms on two colas.  I’ve learned so much since I submitted an image of a Budworm two years ago.  I immediately harvested both and set up a three bowl wash of first hydrogen peroxide in water, second lemon juice & baking soda in water, and finally a water rinse.  While trimming the cola, I discovered a silken chamber with a .3 inch bronze-backed Jumping Spider that I carried back to the garden to the plant I just trimmed, talking to it as it jumped from one hand to the next, back and forth.  Sorry, I didn’t have a camera at the time, so no photo of the spider.  I finished cutting out all the caterpillar fouled portions of two buds, but I never found the caterpillar.  Do you think the caterpillar moved from one cola to the next where it encountered the lair of the Jumping Spider that promptly ate it?  I didn’t want to count on predators to control these dreaded Budworms, so I followed the advice of Mel Frank and promptly sprayed my plants with Bt, a naturally occurring bacteria that causes the caterpillars to stop eating so they eventually die, and it is not a pesticide so it doesn’t harm my predators, like spiders and mantids.
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Budworm damage on Cannabis

Dear Constant Gardener,
We will probably catch some flack from some Facebook followers for highlighting another Cannabis posting.  Thank you for sharing your organic Caterpillar prevention strategy as well as your saving a tainted crop strategy.  We found information on The Cannabis Grower that states the Budworm will “burrow into your buds and eat them from the inside. You’ll have no idea they’re even there until you see a bud that looks a little off…one leaf is dying, or the bud looks dried out, somewhat similar to the symptoms of bud rot. If you see this, you must inspect the bud. Take the leaf or bud and pull it away from the plant until you can see all around it. Look for sand-grain sized balls that are black or brown. That’s caterpillar poop, and you have a problem. The good news is that you can usually find the worm by following the poop around the buds until you find the worm or the hole he’s in. The bad news is you MUST find that worm, otherwise he’ll just keep eating and eating into your buds.”  Regarding the possibility that the Jumping Spider ate the Budworm, we suppose that is entirely possible, especially since you did not fine the culprit.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Atop Casper Mtn,. Wyoming
Date: 08/16/2019
Time: 02:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I would love to know the identity of this cat.  Photo taken 8/13/19.
How you want your letter signed:  Dwaine

Unidentified Moth Caterpillar

Dear Dwaine,
Despite the excellent detail in your images and the distinctive characteristics of this Moth Caterpillar, we are unable to provide you with an identification at this time.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in this identification.

Unidentified Moth Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  big silkmoth caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Bangor, Maine
Date: 08/14/2019
Time: 03:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! We rescued this caterpillar who was crossing the highway.  I’ve seen photos of it online with people saying it’s a Luna, but I’m thinking maybe Polyphemus?
How you want your letter signed:  Ryan and Emily

Pre-Pupal Luna Moth Caterpillar

Dear Ryan and Emily,
Distinguishing a Luna Caterpillar from a Polyphemus Caterpillar can be challenging, but we believe your caterpillar is a Luna Caterpillar.  The pink coloration is due to it being pre-pupal, and we have seen numerous images of pink pre-pupal Luna Caterpillars.  Luna Moth caterpillars, according to BugGuide, are:  “Larva lime-green with pink spots and weak subspiracular stripe on abdomen. Yellow lines cross the larva’s back near the back end of each segment (compare Polyphemus moth caterpillars, which have yellow lines crossing at spiracles). Anal proleg edged in yellow. Sparse hairs.”  Your individual is lacking the “yellow lines crossing at spiracles” that are present in Polyphemus Caterpillars.

Thank you so much Daniel.  What a tricky ID!  Much appreciated.
Update:  August 17, 2019
Bugman (Daniel)– our strangely-colored Luna caterpillar has made a cocoon by folding up some birch leaves in its fish tank terrarium.  I’m aware that it should be misted periodically so it doesn’t dry out…how often is that necessary?  How many days can you skip the misting, without it drying out to death?
Thank you again so much for the ID of this creature.  –Ryan
Hi again Ryan,
We do not raise caterpillars in captivity, but the problem with a terrarium is that it is cut off from external conditions.  Outdoors, the cocoon would be exposed to rain and other precipitation.  Another problem with raising caterpillars indoors is the stable temperature that occurs in modern homes, and this can effect emergence time which presents problems when adults emerge at a time of year that prevents release back into the wild (like an indoor emergence in the dead of winter).  The important consideration is not how often you mist, but when you mist.  If the captive conditions get too dry, the pupa might desiccate.  Trying to duplicate outdoor conditions in a protected environment is a goal.  Good luck.  
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  What’s that moth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Marin County, Ca
Date: 08/13/2019
Time: 09:16 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman, Woman or Bugster,  Can you tell me what these gorgeous creatures emerging are?  They’re on my redwood siding, and there’s a second wee house not yet ready to disgorge its person/s.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you so much!

Mating Lappet Moths

These appear to be mating Lappet Moths in the genus Tolype, with the remains of a cocoon.  We suspect the cocoon originally housed the female in the pair, and the male sensed her pheromones once she emerged.  Based on images posted to the Natural History of Orange County, we suspect the species is Tolype distincta.  Thanks for also including a good image of the cocoon.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination