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.
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.