Currently viewing the category: "Silkworms"

Subject:  Caterpillars id
Geographic location of the bug:  Midwest usa
Date: 10/02/2021
Time: 05:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve never seen a caterpillar this big in my life. Is it a danger to my clothing, garden, cats or dogs that may get hold of it? What kind is it?
How you want your letter signed:  stephanie

Imperial Moth Caterpillar

Dear Stephanie,
The midwest is a big place.  More location specificity is always desirable.  This is an Imperial Moth Caterpillar and it will not harm your clothing or your cats or dogs.  Imperial Moth caterpillars are not too particular about the leaves they feed upon and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on leaves of Bald Cypress, basswood, birch, cedar, elm, hickory, Honeylocust, maple, oak, pine, Sassafras (
Sassafras albidum), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), sycamore, walnut.”  They do not feed enough to cause a tree damage unless it is a very young tree.

Subject:  Caterpillar ID
Geographic location of the bug:  SW North America (AZ desert)
Date: 09/28/2021
Time: 12:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this Sept, 27 early evening in New River, AZ (2,000 ft elevation).  I have not found anything like it in my searches.  The shiny silver barbs on its back come out when agitated.
How you want your letter signed:  DC

Possibly Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear DC,
This is a Silkmoth Caterpillar in the genus
Syssphinx, possibly a Hubbard’s Small Silkmoth Caterpillar.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.

Subject:  Large Catepillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Lynnwood WA Late September
Date: 09/21/2021
Time: 05:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Large Lime Green caterpillar. Large cross of brown located at the Anul area.
How you want your letter signed:  Bill

Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar

Dear Bill,
This is a Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar.  The Polyphemus Moth has the greatest range of all the North American Giant Silk Moths, being reported in all 48 lower states.

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Mimbres, New Mexico
Date: 09/11/2021
Time: 07:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found these caterpillars – about 3 inches long – on my Oak tree.
Lots of them!  What are they?
How you want your letter signed:  Urbanohno

Cecrops Eyed Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Urbanohno,
What a marvelous find.  These are caterpillars of the Cecrops Eyed Silkmoth which we identified on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults in spring. Eggs are laid in rings on twigs of host plant. Early instar larvae are gregarious and feed in large groups, but they spread out and become solitary in later instars. Larvae are present in summer to early autumn. Overwinter as pupae in cocoons woven among (or incorporating) vegetation, mostly leaf litter on ground, sometimes on plants.”

Ah so – Thank You very much Daniel!

Subject:  What is this
Geographic location of the bug:  Southwest Florida
Date: 08/27/2021
Time: 07:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this crawling around on rocks today in my landscaping
How you want your letter signed:  Bugman

Prepupal Imperial Moth Caterpillar

To Whom it may Concern,
You are not the Bugman.  You have requested information from the Bugman.  This is a prepupal Imperial Moth Caterpillar which has finished feeding, left the tree upon which it was feeding, and it is now looking for a place to dig so it can pupate underground.  The adult Imperial Moth is a gorgeous creature.

Lol! I am certainly not the bugman! I thought that space was for how I wanted the letter to me signed; I was very concerned! Thanks for the information!
Crysta aka NOT the bugman

Thanks Crysta.

Subject:  What kind of caterpillar is this? Silkmoth?
Geographic location of the bug:  Basalt, CO 81621
Date: 08/15/2021
Time: 12:25 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman :  Found this caterpillar while hiking on our property at 8000 ft elevation.
How you want your letter signed:  Joe

Glover’s Silkmoth Caterpillar, we believe

Dear Joe,
This is definitely the Caterpillar of a Giant Silkmoth in the genus
Hyalophora, but the species has us puzzled because of the two rows of bright red tubercles.  The Cecropia Moth is not found west of the Continental Divide, and according to the Cecropia Moth description on the Agricultural Science website of Colorado State University:  “The Glover’s silk moth, Hyalophora columbia gloveri, occurs at higher elevations within the region and may be found west of the Continental Divide. … Larvae of the Glover’s silk moth lack the reddish tubercles that are prominent with the cecropia and these are instead colored yellow. Caterpillars primarily feed on leaves of Rhus trilobata, but maple, willow, chokecherry, alder, and wild currant are among the other hosts. Formerly considered a distinct species, the Glover’s silk moth is now classified as a subspecies of the Columbia silk moth, Hyalophora columbia (S.I. Smith).”  Though there are some discrepancies in the description of the caterpillar, our best guess is that this is a Glover’s Silkmoth Caterpillar.  When Daniel returns to Los Angeles next week, he will attempt to contact Bill Oehlke to confirm.  To add to the confusion, there is also inter-species hybridization possible.  This BugGuide discussion on the identification of a Glover’s Silkmoth Caterpillar might interest you.

Thank you very much Daniel!  I look forward to hearing what Bill thinks.
Best,
Joe