Currently viewing the category: "Prominent Moth Caterpillars"
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Unknown Caterpillar From Arkansas
I found this caterpillar on an asphalt parking lot at Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas on October 6, 2006 at about 3:00 PM. My description of this caterpillar is: Smooth segmented, non-hairy, pinkish gray body with dark pink linear and blotch markings on dorsal area. Two dark pink spots at bottom last two segments. White spiracles, short black stalk eyes, with a strong, smooth mouth. I have never seen a caterpillar like this in Arkansas and would like to know any information about it.
Ed Gardner
Edmond, OK

Hi Ed,
This is the caterpillar of a Prominent Moth in the genus Heterocampa.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unicorn or morning glory prominent?
Attached is a photo of the caterpillar that was decimating my boyfriend’s rosebush in the beautiful North Georgia foothills. After finding your site we have tentatively identified it as either a unicorn prominent or a morning glory prominent, but the available online photos are not quite distinct enough to settle the debate (he says one, I say the other). Can you tell us which it is, and can you also tell us what it will turn into? Please feel free to use this photo on your site if you like. Best,
Ann and David

Hi Ann and David,
This is the second household debate we are being asked to settle this week. BugGuide has many excellent photos of the Morning Glory Prominent, Schizura ipomoeae, which we believe you have, as well as its close relative, the Unicorn Prominent. Additional support in the direction of the Morning Glory Prominent is that rose is listed as a food plant.

Checkered Fringe Prominent
ur wrong
Your morning glory is actually a Checkered Fringe Prominent. The same caterpillars are eating my roses but most are already in the prepupal stage.

Hi Cameron,
Are we now? BugGuide lists both common names, Checkered Fringe Prominent and Morning Glory Prominent as the same species, Schizura ipomoeae. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

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I found this little guy on a trail I walk regularly in Gloucester, MA. I am a nature enthusiast with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and have never seen this type of insect before. I am assuming he is a caterpillar because of the feet, but I could be wrong. Please help me solve this mystery. Thanks!
Tara A. Talbot

Hi Tara,
When a caterpillar hatches from an egg, it is termed the first instar. As it grows, it molts and often changes appearance drastically. Most caterpillars go through about 4 or 5 instars. This is one of the early instars of a Prominent Moth, probably the Tentacled Prominent in the genus Cerura. They are also called Puss Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Our new friend…
Our neighbor found this caterpillar in her backyard. I asked her if we could have it. We want to raise it for our homeschool. We just need to know what type of caterpillar he is and what he eats. I am sure that he is a fairly common type, I just don’t know what it is. We put fresh leaves in from our live oak tree for now. I also sent a picture of him to our local Museum of Science and Industry. They have a butterfly garden there and we have released Painted Ladies which we raised in there. She suggested your site. Thank you for any help you can give us.

Hi Dee,
Your caterpillar is in the genus Heterocampa, many of which feed on oaks. Our best guesses are the Saddled Prominent, Heterocampa guttivitta which also feeds on maple, beech and apple, or Heterocampa obliqua, but the species are often variable and difficult to distinguish from one another. It will metamorphose into a nondescript brown prominent moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unidentified caterpillar
I hope you can tell me what this is. We found it in a pile of dead Live Oak leaves but it would not eat them. We have tried asparagus fern and other plants that were nearby, but so far it has not eaten a thing. This caterpillar is pale lime green with brown teardrop shaped eyes, and has a geometric pattern on its back. The pattern consists of two elongated diamond shapes which are lighter green and are outlined in light brown. The diamond shapes have a dashed green line proceeding up the center, and I have seen the “dashes” dissappear and reappear from the tail toward the head as it crawls, somewhat like lights around a movie marquee sign. There is a dotted line of light brown spots up each side of the body with each body segment having a dot in its center. Do you know what this is? I would like to know what it eats.
Thank-you very much!
Dawn Michel
Orlando, FL

Hi Dawn,
This is a caterpillar in the genus Heterocampa. Offhand, we can’t say what they eat, but armed with the name, you should be able to find out easily.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Purple and Pink Caterpillar!!!
This weirdo caterpillar is purple and pink!!! I have no idea what this is, hoping you can help.

Hi Danika,
Your purple and pink caterpillar is in the genus Heterocampa.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination