Currently viewing the category: "moth caterpillars"

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.

Subject: A shiny green visitor!
Location: Near Altmar, NY
August 25, 2015 9:20 am
We live in a rural area about 40 miles north of Syracuse, New York, close to a now extinct village called Altmar. Our property borders wooded state land which surrounds a beaver pond that is also on the back of our woods. We recently had the sad experience of having to remove a large maple tree due to disease. It had started not even as tall as our home but by the time we removed it, it was towering over it. In cutting wood from the downed tree and sorting out leafy branches, this bug ended up on my husband’s pants. It is very unusual looking with a shiny light green smooth surface and it walked like a caterpillar. We’d never seen anything like it in the 20 years we’ve lived in this house. I took this picture as soon as we saw it on August 23.
Thanks for any help identifying our little green visitor!
Signature: Lisa P

Oblique Heterocampa Caterpillar

Oblique Heterocampa Caterpillar

Dear Lisa,
As two days have passed between the time you took the image and the time you wrote to us, we hope you relocated to another maple tree this Prominent Moth Caterpillar, possibly the Oblique Heterocampa due to its resemblance to the individual in this BugGuide image.

Oblique Heterocampa Caterpillar

Oblique Heterocampa Caterpillar

Our property is probably 80% maple trees and we did bring him back over to the woods after we took the picture! (My husband just told me he actually put him on a maple directly.) Thanks for the info! 🙂

Subject: Imperial Moth?
Location: South Central Pa
August 24, 2015 5:03 pm
My husband found this on his maple tree.
8.24.15
We’ve never seen a caterpillar this big.
Our neighbor said it’s a monarch but your page is looking like imperial moth
Signature: Amy Jo

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Dear Amy Jo,
Your identification of this magnificent Imperial Moth Caterpillar is correct, and judging by its size, it will soon spin its cocoon.

Thank you.     Its the prettiest caterpillar I’ve ever seen.  I’m checking our trees for more!  Lol