Subject: caterpillar ID please
Location: Kansas City, MO
December 1, 2016 6:27 pm
Can you ID this caterpillar on a crabapple in the Kansas City area (see photo)
Signature: Dave Tylka
The posture of your caterpillar is a characteristic of the Prominent Moth Caterpillars in the genus Datana. Your individual looks exactly like this Yellow Necked Caterpillar, Datana ministra, that is pictured on BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “Early instars feed gregariously and skeletonize leaves. The larvae feed on Malus, Quercus, Betula and Salix species. Young larvae skeletonise the leaves of their host plant. Later, they feed on all of the leaf except the leaf stalk. They feed in groups.” BugGuide also indicates: “A common pest in orchards.” Crabapple is a Malus species.
Dear Daniel Marlos,
Many thanks for the ID and natural history of the yellow necked caterpillar! We sincerely appreciate you and your group providing this service to us, the general public. I will share this lep information.