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

black and white stripped caterpillar
December 24, 2009
I found these acrobatic caterpillars on my George Tabor Azaleas I believe it was in September. Their black and white stripes were quite different. It was their red head and legs and tail that caught my attention. No major harm was done to my azaleas. Could these be the caterpillars for a zebra swallowtail?
Leslie
Saint Fancisville, La

Azalea Caterpillars

Azalea Caterpillars

Hi again Leslie,
These are Prominent Moth Caterpillars in the genus Datana.  It is probably the Azalea Caterpillar, Datana major, which feeds on Azalea and a few other plants including red oak, apple and blueberry.  The species is well represented on BugGuide which indicates:  “female lays masses of 80-100 eggs on underside of leaf in late spring or early summer; first instar larvae feed gregariously, skeletonizing leaves of hostplant; older larvae eat entire leaves; usually one generation per year, with partial second generation in the south; overwinters as a pupa in a cell in the soil.
”  This posture is typical of caterpillars in the genus Datana.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillar found in blueberry bushes
September 23, 2009
I found this caterpillar taking a ride on my son’s shirt during an early morning of blueberry picking. I took its picture on my finger to show the size, and then we happily set it back onto a blueberry bush. I can’t find an identification for it. Thank you!
Nichole
Michigan (Ann Arbor area) in the summer (end of August)

Unicorn Caterpillar, or imposter???

Unicorn Caterpillar, or imposter???

Hi Nichole,
Interestingly, we just finished posting another photo of a Unicorn Caterpillar, or False Unicorn Caterpillar from the genus Schizura.  Your photo with the translucent talon, we mean fingernail, is awesome.

Unicorn Caterpillar? or False Unicorn Caterpillar??

Unicorn Caterpillar? or False Unicorn Caterpillar??

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillar on Western Redbud
September 21, 2009
Caterpillar on Western Redbud
2 feeding this afternoon in the hot California sun
J serences
Carmichael CA Central Valley

Red Hump Caterpillar

Red Hump Caterpillar

Hi J,
We believe this to be a Red Hump Caterpillar, Schizura concinna, a species of Prominent Moth.  The caterpillars, according to BugGuide:  “feed on a wide range of woody plants.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unicorn Caterpillar
September 23, 2009
Was walking with the 2 year old in the swamp park in Southern Illinois today and found a strange looking caterpillar. Some research has it as a Schizura unicornis (I think…do they eat oak?).
The camouflage was strikingly good from some angles, the green “window” in its mid-section is exactly as translucent as leaves with the sun behind them.
Thought you might like some pictures.
Bert in Illinois
Southern Illinois

Possibly Unicorn Caterpillar

Possibly Unicorn Caterpillar

Dear Bert,
BugGuide lists the food plants of the Unicorn Caterpillar as:  “alder, apple, Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides), White Birch (Betula papyrifera), elm, hawthorn, hickory, willow
“, while the closely related and similar looking Morning Glory Prominent or False Unicorn Caterpillar has its food plants listed as:  “leaves of beech, birch, elm, maple, morning-glory, oak, rose, and other woody plants” on BugGuide.  We would entertain the possibility that the list of plants for the Unicorn Caterpillar might be incomplete, and that your caterpillar might be either species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Purple and orange caterpillar
September 1, 2009
Hello,
I found this odd little caterpillar on a Black Locust tree near my house in south-western Pennsylvania. I tried searching through books and the internet, hoping to find out what this little guy is with no luck. [S]he is about 2″ long. Hopefully you can help identify the bugger!
Rebecca
Pittsburgh Area, Pennsylvania

Black Spotted Prominent Caterpillar

Black Spotted Prominent Caterpillar

Dear Rebecca,
We started by searching the Owlet Moth Caterpillars on BugGuide, and then progressed to the Prominent Caterpillars.  Eventually we identified your Black Spotted Prominent Caterpillar, Dasylophia anguina, on BugGuide.  Distinguishing features according to Craig Biegler on BugGuide
include:  “the black ‘shoulder’ spot, shiny black ‘button’ on A8, raised rear end, elongated anal prolegs.”  The Caterpillars of the Eastern Forests website indicates:  “Splendidly rendered in shiny lavender, orange (or red), yellow, and black; both color and pattern variable. Head orange and unmarked. Middorsal and 2 or 3 subdorsal and supraspiracular stripes, these thin, broken, and black; subdorsal stripe orange, broad; spiracular stripe lemon, broad. Eighth abdominal segment with black dorsal button. Subventer with line of raised shiny black spots just above legs. Food: lead plant, locusts, and other legumes. Caterpillar: June to October; apparently 2 generations.”

Black Spotted Prominent Caterpillar

Black Spotted Prominent Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillars from Puerto Rico (moths?) Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 7:18 AM
These caterpillars were photographed in the humid karstic forest of northern Puerto Rico. The one with the “horns” is huge. I found it on a Piper shrub (Piperaceae), and the several I’ve seen are always out at night. At first I thought it would be a species of Heraclides (Papilionidae) but after checking some pictures, I decided it can’t be. I was photographed in summer (though seasons i Puerto Rico are not well defined, except rainy/dry).
The other caterpillar was shot by day, in the same general habitat. I was photographed just a couple of weeks ago.
I have a lot of unidentified insects in my website on Caribbean Natural History ( www.kingsnake.com/westindian ). If it is OK with you, perhaps you can pay it a visit and provide me with any corrections/information you might think is relevant.
Thanks a lot for your kind help.
Alejandro Sanchez
Puerto Rico, northern karstic humid forest

Unidentified Puerto Rican Caterpillar:  Prominent Moth???

Silverking Butterfly Caterpillar

Hello again Alejandro,
We fear we are not really being of much assistance to you today. In our humble opinion, we would guess that these might be Prominent Moth Caterpillars in the family Notodontidae. You can see some North American specimens on BugGuide. Many Prominent Moth Caterpillars have unusual projections on their bodies similar to the ones on both of your specimens. We will post your photos in the hope someone can assist in the identification. We will also link to your marvelous website and hope your site doesn’t crash from the additional traffic.

Unidentified Caterpillar from Puerto Rico:  Prominent Moth???

Unidentified Caterpillar from Puerto Rico: Prominent Moth???

Confirmation from Eric Eaton
Monday, January 26, 2009
I think you are probably correct with the caterpillar IDs….
Eric

Update:
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Hi Daniel:
I haven’t been able to identify the first image but I believe the second one is of a Prominent moth in the genus Nystalea, probably N. collaris. The web site for Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) has a huge searchable database of moth (adult and caterpillar) images, including many for the various instars and color phases of N. collaris. The species ranges from southern Texas to Costa Rica, and the Antilles. Regards.
Karl
Link: http://janzen.sas.upenn.edu/caterpillars/database.lasso

Update: February 13, 2009
Greetings Father Sánchez,
Since my research is limited to the early stages of butterflies (not enough hours in a day to add moths), I can only identify your first photo. It is a caterpillar of the Silverking butterfly, *Archaeoprepona demophoon* (Nymphalidae, Charaxinae), which feeds on several genera in the Lauraceae, its presence on *Piper* a result of wandering. As you discovered, *Heraclides* swallowtail larvae look entirely different and more or less like this:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3600/3280135520_4595b8168b_b.jpg
Best wishes,
Keith Wolfe

Update: Sat, Feb 14, 2009 at 8:05 AM
Daniel:
The caterpillar in the first image is not a Prominent moth, but a Leafwing butterfly (Nymphalidae : Charaxinae). It is a Two-Spotted Prepona (Archaeoprepona demophoon); not to be confused with the One-Spotted Prepona (A. demophon). The name Silverking may be more common in the Antilles. The distribution of A. demophoon is from Mexico to northern Argentina, including the Caribbean. Within that area the genus is broken down into at least 10 sub-species, each with its own fairly distinct distribution. The variety found in Puerto Rico (and apparently nowhere else) is A. d. ramorosum. The ACG site mentioned above has numerous images of A. demophoon caterpillars and adults. Regards.
Karl

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination