Currently viewing the category: "Prominent Moth Caterpillars"

Subject:  Pink prominent moth caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Windham NH
Date: 07/20/2019
Time: 02:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found the caterpillar here in your pages. I see many different prominent moths. We wondered what moth comes from the specific pink one we found.
How you want your letter signed:  Larry

Pre-Pupal Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Dear Larry,
We just finished posting another pink Prominent Moth Caterpillar.  Like that individual, we are confident your individual is in the genus
Heterocampa, but we are not certain of the species, and we cannot currently access BugGuide, which must be experiencing technical difficulties.  Heterocampa Caterpillars are green, and many turn pink or purple as metamorphosis time nears.

Subject:  Found it
Geographic location of the bug:  Carthage, MO
Date: 07/20/2019
Time: 11:43 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Knowest caterpillars in my area, but have no idea what this one is. It’s a little bigger around then a pencil.
How you want your letter signed:  Clarissa

Pre-Pupal Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Dear Clarissa,
This is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the genus
Heterocampa, and there are several similar looking species.  These Caterpillars are green most of their lives, but when pupation time nears, they often turn pink or purple, so your individual is pre-pupal.

Subject:  Caterpillar eating blueberry bush
Geographic location of the bug:  Wales, Maine
Date: 08/25/2018
Time: 10:18 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello, Can you tell me what this caterpillar is?  I do not want it to eat the blueberry bushes but I don’t want to kill them either.
How you want your letter signed:  Amy

Red Humped Caterpillars

Dear Amy,
These are Red Humped Caterpillars,
Schizura concinna, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on a wide range of woody plants, from many different families” so it should be an easy matter to relocate the caterpillars, but alas, BugGuide did not provide a list of any particular preferred food plants.  According to the University of California Pest Management System:  “This pest most commonly chews leaves of liquidambar (sweet gum), plum, and walnut. It also feeds on almond, apple, apricot, birch, cherry, cottonwood, pear, prune, redbud, willow, and other deciduous trees and shrubs.”  The site also states:  “Young caterpillars commonly feed side-by-side in groups, chewing on the lower leaf surface. As the larvae grow, they tend to disperse and feed in smaller groups or individually. Skeletonized leaves are a common result, as the older caterpillars chew all the way through and consume leaves, leaving only the larger, tough veins. Unlike certain other caterpillars that may feed on the same hosts, redhumped caterpillars do not tie leaves with webbing or leave silk strands on foliage; the exception is when silk-covered pupae occur on leaves.  When their abundance is low, larvae eat leaves on only a few branch terminals. Occasionally, heavy infestations develop and defoliate entire trees during the summer. Usually only scattered individual and young trees are severely defoliated. If severely defoliated, trees that are otherwise healthy usually recover.”

Subject:  Found  this little guy
Geographic location of the bug:  Texas, Redbud Vanilla Twist Tree
Date: 06/11/2018
Time: 02:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this little guy on one of my new letters. At first, I didn’t realize it was a caterpillar, until I got a closer look.  Good thing I always have a camera close, especially in my backyard.   I have never seen this one before and I surely don’t want it to eat all the leaves on the young tree.
How you want your letter signed:  Kate in Texas

Prominent Caterpillar

Dear Kate in Texas,
This is a Prominent Caterpillar in the family Notodontidae, and we spent a considerable amount of time trying to get a species identification for you.  The closest visual match we found on The Moth Photographers Group is
Schizura badia, though we are not certain that is correct.  According to Discover Life, the common name is the Chestnut Schizera, and the same common name is used on BugGuide where it states “The larvae feed on Northern Wild-Raisin and other Viburnum species.”  The Red Humped Caterpillar, another member of the genus, is known to feed on redbud, but your caterpillar is most definitely not that species.  Scientists and naturalists don’t always have comprehensive knowledge of the feeding habits of caterpillars.  Leaf loss due to caterpillar feeding is rarely a concern for a healthy tree. 

Prominent Caterpillar

Subject:  What’s that larvae
Geographic location of the bug:  Lowveld
Date: 03/14/2018
Time: 04:13 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help. Very unique but stumped me out.
Thanks a mill
How you want your letter signed:  Andrew

Probably Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Dear Andrew,
We have yet to find an image that we can use as an identification, but our suspicion is that this is the Caterpillar of a Prominent Moth in the family Notodontidae.  Perhaps one of our readers will have more luck than we have had.

Thanks so much for the efforts. I am trying to get a few more pictures to ease identification.
Thanks again

That would be great.  Do you know what plant it was feeding upon?

Subject:  fat, pink, and roly poly
Geographic location of the bug:  vermont, usa
Date: 09/29/2017
Time: 04:50 PM EDT
I work at a childcare center on the vermont-new hampshire border, and i’ve seen a bunch of unusual bugs on the playground this year. i wish i’d found this site earlier, because it would have been able to answer a lot of questions for the curious kids- and their teacher!
I found this guy just crawling around on the ground in the bark mulch and i’ve never seen anything like it before. It was pretty warm earlier this week for late september, could that have anything to do with it?
thank you so much for all your hard work!
How you want your letter signed:

Pre-Pupal Drab Prominent Caterpillar

Dear Molly,
Your caterpillar bears an uncanny resemblance to a Mottled Prominent Moth Caterpillar we just posted, except that individual is green and yours is pink.  Many caterpillars change color just prior to pupation, and that pre-pupal state is often a change in color from green to pink.  We located this image of a pink Mottled Prominent Caterpillar on BugGuide and we consider that an anfirmation of our suspicion, but, closer inspection has us doubting that since your individual is lacking the rear-end projections visible in this BugGuide image and our own image. We still believe this is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar from the family Notodontidae.  We now believe, based on this BugGuide image, that it is a Drab Prominent Caterpillar,
Misogada unicolor.  According to BugGuide, the:  “larvae feed on cottonwood and sycamore” and “larvae can be found on the underside of cottonwood and sycamore leaves April-September.”

Pre-Pupal Drab Prominent Caterpillar

Thank you so much! The kids were all very fascinated, even if some of them didn’t completely understand. Keep up the good work!