Currently viewing the category: "Prominent Moth Caterpillars"

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.

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.

Need Caterpillar ID Please
I was out in my front yard and noticed the lower branches of the oak tree were stripped but I didn’t see any swarm of bugs that you might expect on such a stripping of leaves. On close inspection right at the line where the stripped leaves and whole leaves meet (logical place to look right?) I find this guy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like this before and was wondering what it is. We are in Lawrenceville Georgia and the photo was taken yesterday (Sept 7, 2005) Feel free to use the photos for anything you like. I scoured your site and didn’t find anything close. It’s quite a large tree and the damage is minimal. Plus it’s almost fall anyway so I’m not looking to get rid of it or them. This is the only one I could find. I’m just currious and I spend a lot of time IDing snakes for people so figured it was my turn to “bug” someone 🙂 Thanks in advance for your help..Great site btw!
Brett Gardin

Hi Brett,
Great photos of the Checkered Fringe Prominent Moth Caterpillar, Schizura ipomoeae.

Hi, I found this on a tree in WAREHAM ENGLAND and just wondered what larvae it was. Cheers

Hi Richard,
This had us very puzzled, but then we found it: Stauropus fagi, the Lobster Moth, named because of the crustacean-like caterpillar. It is relatively rare and feeds on the leaves of beech and oak as well as other trees. We are thrilled to have your awesome photograph for our archive. This is easily the craziest looking caterpillar we have ever seen.

Got it!
Good morning, Daniel.
I think that I may have found the name of that caterpillar recently found munching on goldenrod leaves.. A friend of mine suggests that it is a “Brown-Hooded Owlet” caterpillar. What do you think? Here’s a picture of a unicorn caterpillar that you may find of interest.

Brown Hooded Owlet Caterpillar Unicorn Caterpillar

Hi again Colin,
We checked with BugGuide and agree with your nicely researched identification of the Brown Hooded Owlet Moth, Cucullia convexipennis. Your other caterpillar is one of the Prominent Moths, but we never heard the common name Unicorn Caterpillar. Ater checking Caterpillars of the Eastern Forests, we see you have correctly identified Schizura unicornis.