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

Subject: Moth Pupa?
Location: Central Virginia
February 24, 2017 5:36 am
Hello, Bugman! Been a big fan of your site for several years now, friend in my Master Gardners group told me about your site. Great work you are doing!
I found this gigantic pupa on the ground after pruning some Mountain Laurel on our mountainside. (We live outside Stanardsville, VA, about 8 miles from the Skyline Drive. THout it was dog poop until I looked closer, touched it and it wiggles! I put it in a big jar and put it back outside on the porch. We are having a few warm days, but expect more cold weather befor Spring arrives (today is Feb.24, 2017). I’ve looked at your photos of the Luna and Polyphemus moths, but mine doesn’t resemble them. What do you think it is?
Signature: Ann P.

Imperial Moth Pupa

Dear Ann,
We believe you searched the correct family, but not the correct species.  We believe this is an Imperial Moth Pupa, and the adult Imperial Moth is a lovely yellow and purple creature.  According to Featured Creatures, one listed host plant is “
Sassafras albidum (Nutt.) Nees    sassafras    Lauraceae” and since the family is the same as Mountain Laurel, that may also be a host plant, though we are having trouble confirming that suspicion at this time.  Perhaps one of the well recognized host plants are also in the vicinity.  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.”  You might want to consider returning the pupa to the safety of the leaf litter where you found it, though allowing the adult to emerge in captivity might be a wondrous experience for you.  We would urge you to keep it in a sheltered location not influenced by artificial temperatures.  Thanks for your kind words regarding our humble site.

Thanks for such a prompt response!   I will certainly return the pupa to where I found it.   I’d much rather it have a normal life!  I can now find a photo of what it will become.   Again, thanks for your ongoing hard work and help for those of us who have a love of nature and the wonders around us every day… when we can take a few moments to take a closer look at what we find and have a resource like yours to find answers to our questions.   All best wishes for continued success!  A.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Argema mittrei life stages
Location: Madagascar
January 6, 2017 11:47 am
Dear Daniel,
with my best wishes for 2017, I’d like to send You a drawing with Argema mittrei life stages as a little Christmas present…
Best
Bostjan
Signature: Bostjan Dvorak

Life Cycle of Argema mittrei by Bostjan Dvorak

Happy New Year Bostjan,
Thank you for submitting your beautiful drawing. 
Argema mittrei is really a beautiful Giant Silkmoth.  While we do not have any images on our site of that species, we do have an image of a relative from the African mainland, Argema mimosae, on our site.  We also have an image of what we believe to be the Caterpillar of Argema mimosae.  Perhaps you can let us know if that identification is correct. Mada Magazine has a nice article on the Madagascar Moon Moth or Comet Moth.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Key West
January 6, 2017 11:17 am
Florida Keys, about 2″ long. I put him on my tree. Thanks!
Signature: Alison

Io Moth Caterpillar

Dear Alison,
Your caterpillar is that of an Io Moth.  Your dorsal view hides the dramatic red and white stripes on the side of the Io Moth Caterpillar.  Handle the Io Moth Caterpillar with caution as they have stinging spines.  The adult Io Moth is a beautiful Silkmoth with stunning eyespots.

Oooo, thank you. I let him crawl on a credit card and then put him on the tree.
Thanks again!
Alison Johnson

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

, anSubject: Black caterpillar with orange spikes
Location: South Africa
December 20, 2016 6:59 am
I would like to find out what butterfly or moth might be the adult of this black caterpillar with orange spikes and white spots found feeding (in groups) on a Pigeonwood tree (Trema orientalis) in our garden in South Africa.
Signature: Craig Morris

Saturniidae Caterpillar

Saturniidae Caterpillar

Dear Craig,
Your caterpillar will eventually metamorphose into a Giant Silkmoth in the family Saturniidae.  We are posting your submission as unidentified prior to beginning any research.  This morning is our last day in the office before catching a plane in a few hours for a holiday trip and we may not be able to provide a species name for you because of the time needed to research your caterpillar’s identity.  In our own archives we have an image of Predatory Hemipterans feeding on the caterpillar of
Imbrasia wahlbergi and it looks like the same species as your caterpillar.  Images posted to iSpot Nature confirm that identification.  We also have images in our archive of Gonimbrasia (Nudaurelia) wahlbergii and we believe they represent the same species. 

Dear Daniel
Thank you for your very speedy reply. That looks spot on – very similar to the Wahlberg’s Emperor Moth (Nudaurelia wahlbergi) found here.
I appreciate your help.
Have a good holiday.
Regards
Craig

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Coconut Creek
December 15, 2016 4:49 pm
I was wondering if you identify this caterpillar for me
Signature: Normal

Pink Striped Oakworm

Pink Striped Oakworm

Dear Normal,
This is one of the Oakworms in the genus Anisota, and we believe based on this BugGuide image that it is a Pink Striped Oakworm,
Anisota virginiensis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Caterpillars in the Yacatan jungle
Location: Coba ruins , tulum area
November 21, 2016 12:29 pm
Hello,
Please take a look at this Catapillar. We found clusters of these in the jungle at the coba ruins in the tulum area. At the base of the tree , directly below them was a whole bunch of little pellets. We’re curious what this Catapillar is and what it turns into. I hope you can help.
Signature: Petra

Arsenura armida aggregation

Arsenura armida aggregation

Dear Petra,
This Project Noah image gives us confidence that this is an aggregation of Caterpillars of the Giant Silkmoth
Arsenura armidaWe have several images in our archives that look similar.  Thanks so much for including the image of the droppings.  This Cortland Faculty website has some nice information including:  “This large Neotropical silkmoth is the only species in the genus Arsenura that exhibits sociality.  Other Arsenura are solitary and cryptic, but A. armida has adopted an aposematic and gregarious lifeyle.  It may be the only social representative of the subfamily Arsenurinae which occurs from tropical Mexico to northern Argentina and contains approximately 57 spp., very few of which are known from the early stages (Lemaire, 1980; Hogue, 1993).
Arsenura armida occurs from tropical Mexico to Bolivia and southeastern Brazil.  In the tropical dry forest of Pacific Mexico and Central America, its caterpillars are found on Guazuma ulmifolia (Sterculiaceae), Rollinia membranacea (Annonaceae), and Bombacopsis quinatum (Bombacaceae) (Janzen and Hallwachs, 2002).  Larvae emerge shortly after the rainy season in May, after passing the long dry season as a solitary and dormant pupa in a chamber excavated 2-10 cm below the soil surface.  Part of the first generation enters a dormant pupal stage and part ecloses about 35-55 days after pupation, to create a second generation in November-December.  All of the second generation pupae become dormant until the following start of the rainy season.
The young larvae are brightly aposematically ringed yellow and black with red heads, and remain together diurnally feeding side by side in large masses on the leaves.  Costa, Fitzgerald, and Janzen (2001) studied this species in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica, and showed that the larvae use a trail pheromone to maintain group cohesion. Larval trail-following can be elicited by surface cuticular material collected by wiping from the venter and dorsum of the abdomen of A. armida caterpillars, as well as crude extracts of homogenated somatic tissue.  The long-lived trail marker appears to be a component of the cuticle passively deposited from the posterio-ventral region of the abdomen as larvae travel over the host plant.
In the fourth instar,
A. armida larvae dramatically change their foraging strategy, switching from nomadic to central place foraging.  Costa, Gotzek, and Janzen (in review) documented the details of this behavioral shift: in central place foraging mode the caterpillars begin to rest diurnally in large conspicuous masses on the lower trunk and underside of larger branches, mobilizing at dusk to forage nocturally as solitary larvae in the canopy.  They return to the lower trunk at dawn, using tree architecture and their trail pheromone to relocate conspecifics (which are generally confamilials) upon descending.  Although larvae often reuse the same resting (bivouac) sites, individual caterpillars do not exhibit strict site fidelity and may shift among sites once descended.  This shift in foraging behavior entails a concomitant change in reaction to the information content of their trail pheromone, from maintaining groups as the caterpillars move from patch to patch, to relocating distant resting sites.”  Based on that information, your individuals are fourth or fifth instars, meaning more mature caterpillars.

Droppings from Aggregation of Arsenura armida Caterpillars

Droppings from Aggregation of Arsenura armida Caterpillars

Thank you very much Daniel.
You have been so helpful. What a cool resource you are.
Petra

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination