Currently viewing the category: "Prominent Moth Caterpillars"

Subject:  Some kind of Prominent?
Geographic location of the bug:  Purdys, Nee York
Date: 09/27/2017
Time: 08:26 AM EDT
Failed to find this caterpillar on several sites and David Wagner’s beautiful book. Found it crawling on our driveway mid-September. Overhead were Japanese Maple, Dogwood, Red Maple, Elm, with many other species in vicinity.
How you want your letter signed:  L Jones

Mottled Prominent Caterpillar

Dear L. Jones,
We really must commend you on figuring out that this is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar from the family Notodontidae.  We believe it resembles this Mottled Prominent,
Macrurocampa marthesia, that is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “larvae feed on leaves of beech, maple, oak, and other deciduous trees” so the trees you observed most likely have provided a food source for your individual.

Wow. Exactly! A bit embarrassed I missed that. Thanks a bunch!

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Franklinville, NC in edge of woods
Date: 09/24/2017
Time: 03:41 PM EDT
Would appreciate help in identifying this caterpillar. Its body appears light purple, almost see thru. I’m thinking the pink is its innards. I love bugs and all insects and am curious about this one. It is so distinctive and different colored than most. Appreciate your help. Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Lex Bakarich

Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Dear Lex,
Prominent Moth Caterpillars in the genus
Heterocampa like your individual frequently change color from green to pink or purple just prior to pupation.

Subject:  Green caterpillar, white and red splotches
Geographic location of the bug:  South Jersey (NJ)
Date: 08/30/2017
Time: 12:23 PM EDT
This guy appeared on my grandson’s shirt when no one was looking. We were sitting outside under the “umbrella tent” on the deck table around noon Wed 8/30/17. Can’t find an image online. (Would like to keep it but don’t know what it eats.) Thanks!
How you want your letter signed:  Monarch Mama

Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Dear Monarch Mama,
If you compare your caterpillar to this BugGuide image, you should see the similarity to the Prominent Moth Caterpillar,
Heterocampa guttivitta.  We cannot state for certain that the species is the same, but we are confident that the genus Heterocampa is correct.  Was that paper really that pink?  We color corrected it and the green on the caterpillar looks better, but we will delete our color corrected image from the posting if the paper background for the caterpillar was really pink.

Prominent Moth Caterpillar

Subject: Large caterpillar
Location: Southern AZ
August 20, 2017 11:47 am
Thanks Daniel
Besides the AZ horned devil….
We have amazing critters here at 4200′ in southern AZ.
A small sampling…
Signature:  Len Nowak

Prominent Caterpillar: Lirimiris truncata

Dear Len,
One of your newly attached images is a much nicer image of the “Arizona Devil” you sent earlier and we will be adding that image to the previous posting.  We are really excited about the yellow and orange caterpillar images you submitted.  We quickly identified them as
Lirimiris truncata thanks to The Firefly Forest site where it states:  “Lirimiris truncata caterpillars are bright yellow and tiger-striped with black and white, and they have a few patches of white bristles, a red head, and an even larger red tail hump. This large tail hump might function as a false head meant to divert predators’ attacks away from the more vulnerable actual head.  The garish coloration of Lirimiris truncata caterpillars makes them highly visible to birds and other predators, but these caterpillars’ bold yellow, red, and black colors are actually a universally recognized type of aposematic (warning) coloration meant to warn away potential predators. I don’t know if these caterpillars are actually poisonous or noxious, but many caterpillars in the same family have chemical defenses and can spray foul-smelling, irritating, or toxic fluids if disturbed. Noting this caterpillar’s bright warning colors, I didn’t try handling it.”  We verified that identification on BugGuide where it states:  “The placement of this species is Notodontidae is uncertain. Lafontaine and Schmidt listed it as incertae sedis in their 2010 checklist (1). BOLD places it under Dicranurinae.”

Prominent Caterpillar: Lirimiris truncata

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.

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.