Currently viewing the category: "Prominent Moth Caterpillars"
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Subject: Blue caterpillar in nj
Location: Nj
July 24, 2017 1:16 pm
Hi bug man, my sister found this blue caterpillar in mj. In all my years I have never seen one like that. Would you please let us know what it is. Is it a caterpillar, moth? Hank you so much!
Signature: Blu caterpillar

Unknown Blue Caterpillar

We cannot provide a conclusive identification.  We did locate this very different looking blue caterpillar on BugGuide, and it is unidentified.  We suspect this is some type of Cutworm, the caterpillar of a moth in the family Noctuidae.

Karl Provides an Identification:  White Dotted Prominent Caterpillar
Hello Daniel and Blu caterpillar:
By any chance, was this caterpillar found on an oak tree? If so, I believe it may be White-dotted Prominent moth caterpillar (Notodontidae: Nadata gibbosa). The description according to ‘Caterpillars of Eastern North America’ (Wagner 2005), includes “Sea-green to waxy blue-green, stocky caterpillar, with weakly developed subdorsal stripe; densely salted with white dots. Head enlarged, pale green; mandibles yellow with black tips. Anal plate edged with yellow.” The angle of the shot makes it difficult to make out with certainty, but I think I can make out a hint of yellow at both the front and back end.
Regards, Karl

Thanks Karl,
Before cropping the image, our editorial staff can attest to the leaf in the image being an oak leaf.  This BugGuide posting looks like a perfect match.

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Subject: Identify a bug
Location: Princes Risborough, Herts
July 9, 2017 9:20 am
Can you help please?
I was wild camping in a wood near Princes Risborough, Hertfordshire last night and this beast fell out of a tree onto my mate’s arm.
Do you know what it is?
Incase this isn’t clear from the pics, this is his wrist, so the bug was about 6cm long. It seemed to rear up??
Many thanks
Signature: Ben Marwood

Lobster Caterpillar

Dear Ben,
Though it looks nothing like a typical Caterpillar, this Lobster Caterpillar is actually the immature form of a Moth in the family Notodontidae.  According to UK Moths:  “This unassuming species gets its English name not from the adult moth, but from the remarkable crustacean-like appearance of the caterpillar.”

Dear Daniel,
Thankyou so much for your reply. Was it unusual to find in the UK/Princes Risborough? I’ve Googled and seen a Japanese one that looks very similar
Best regards
Dear Ben,
The Lobster Caterpillar ranges throughout Eurasia, from England to Japan.  There are several British sites that include the
Lobster Moth Caterpillar, including UK Safari.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar ID
Location: S Andalucia
June 5, 2017 10:08 am
I took these photos this morning in Southern Spain. The Caterpillar is about 5 Cms long and what I assume to be the rear end has a flat circular area with a whitish ring and a reddish centre.
Signature: Garth Nicholson

Puss Moth Caterpillar

Dear Garth,
This is either a Puss Moth Caterpillar,
Cerura vinula, or a closely related species.  We found images on the British site Wildlife Insight of Puss Moth Caterpillars and the site provides this information:  “At this stage the Puss Moth prepupating caterpillar turns from green to a dark purplish colour.  Having stopped feeding it will often leave the food plant to search for a suitable place to pupate.  It is at this stage, when wandering over the ground, that it is frequently come across – resulting in many caterpillar identification requests.  Using its strong jaws the Puss Moth caterpillar forms a very hard cocoon by chewing up bark and cementing it with silk into crevices in tree trunks and woody/plant litter.”  According to Insecta Pro, the species is found in Spain as well as much of Europe. 

Thank you Daniel, checking the links you sent I think you have made a good ID. I realise what I thought was the rear end is in fact the front end.
Many thanks,
Garth Nicholson

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Subject: Found crossing driveway
Location: Austin, Texas
May 14, 2017 2:36 am
Found on May 12, 2017 in Austin, Tx. We were working in my garage and noticed this guy was crossing my driveway so we moved him to the flower bed destination he would have reached (to insure he didn’t get stepped on).
I would love to know what kind of caterpillar this is – never seen one before.
Signature: Karen Lewis

Possibly White Blotched Heterocampa

Dear Karen,
We believe that based on this BugGuide image, your Prominent Moth Caterpillar is a White Blotched Heterocampa,
Heterocampa umbrata.  Was there an oak tree near the sighting?  According to BugGuide:  “The larvae feed on oaks (Quercus). Two generations per year in much of range, multiple generations in Florida.”

Yes, there are two oak trees near the spot where he was (one as close as 12-15 ft away).
Thank you so much!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: caterpillar ID please
Location: Kansas City, MO
December 1, 2016 6:27 pm
Can you ID this caterpillar on a crabapple in the Kansas City area (see photo)
Signature: Dave Tylka

Yellow Necked Caterpillar

Yellow Necked Caterpillar

Dear Dave,
The posture of your caterpillar is a characteristic of the Prominent Moth Caterpillars in the genus Datana.  Your individual looks exactly like this Yellow Necked Caterpillar,
Datana ministra, that is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Early instars feed gregariously and skeletonize leaves.  The larvae feed on Malus, Quercus, Betula and Salix species. Young larvae skeletonise the leaves of their host plant. Later, they feed on all of the leaf except the leaf stalk. They feed in groups.”  BugGuide also indicates:  “A common pest in orchards.”  Crabapple is a Malus species.

Dear Daniel Marlos,
Many thanks for the ID and natural history of the yellow necked caterpillar!  We sincerely appreciate you and your group providing this service to us, the general public.  I will share this lep information.
Thanks again,
Dave Tylka
Native Landscaper

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Kids and Caterpillars
Location: Central Texas
September 27, 2016 6:45 am
My 4yo found a caterpillar he desperately wants to see turn into a butterfly. I have no idea what kind it is or what to put in the terrarium for it to eat. Can you help?
We live in central Texas. It was found on the ground in some dirt after it rained for a few day. It is Sept 27th. It has been really hot here in the 90-100’s but is now cooling off into the 70’s.
Signature: Little One from Texas

Heterocampa Caterpillar

Heterocampa Caterpillar

Dear Little One from Texas,
This is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Heterocampa, but we are not certain of the species as the members of the genus all look quite similar.  Browsing through BugGuide may help you identify possible food plants.  When it is getting ready to pupate, it might turn a purple or pink color

Thank you so much.  We are going to try to let it pupate in our terrarium.  Here is an updated photo of the little guy!

Thanks for the updated image.  Your caterpillar is turning purple right on schedule.

Pre-Pupal Heterocampa Caterpillar

Pre-Pupal Heterocampa Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination