Currently viewing the category: "Prominent Moth Caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar ID
Location: S Andalucia
June 5, 2017 10:08 am
I took these photos this morning in Southern Spain. The Caterpillar is about 5 Cms long and what I assume to be the rear end has a flat circular area with a whitish ring and a reddish centre.
Signature: Garth Nicholson

Puss Moth Caterpillar

Dear Garth,
This is either a Puss Moth Caterpillar,
Cerura vinula, or a closely related species.  We found images on the British site Wildlife Insight of Puss Moth Caterpillars and the site provides this information:  “At this stage the Puss Moth prepupating caterpillar turns from green to a dark purplish colour.  Having stopped feeding it will often leave the food plant to search for a suitable place to pupate.  It is at this stage, when wandering over the ground, that it is frequently come across – resulting in many caterpillar identification requests.  Using its strong jaws the Puss Moth caterpillar forms a very hard cocoon by chewing up bark and cementing it with silk into crevices in tree trunks and woody/plant litter.”  According to Insecta Pro, the species is found in Spain as well as much of Europe. 

Thank you Daniel, checking the links you sent I think you have made a good ID. I realise what I thought was the rear end is in fact the front end.
Many thanks,
Garth Nicholson

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Found crossing driveway
Location: Austin, Texas
May 14, 2017 2:36 am
Found on May 12, 2017 in Austin, Tx. We were working in my garage and noticed this guy was crossing my driveway so we moved him to the flower bed destination he would have reached (to insure he didn’t get stepped on).
I would love to know what kind of caterpillar this is – never seen one before.
Signature: Karen Lewis

Possibly White Blotched Heterocampa

Dear Karen,
We believe that based on this BugGuide image, your Prominent Moth Caterpillar is a White Blotched Heterocampa,
Heterocampa umbrata.  Was there an oak tree near the sighting?  According to BugGuide:  “The larvae feed on oaks (Quercus). Two generations per year in much of range, multiple generations in Florida.”

Yes, there are two oak trees near the spot where he was (one as close as 12-15 ft away).
Thank you so much!
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination