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

Subject:  Guava (?) caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  North Queensland, Australia
Date: 04/06/2019
Time: 08:27 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this large, colourful caterpillar on a guava tree today (Autumn). It is about the size and thickness of my thumb. What is it? What will it become? Is it harmful?
How you want your letter signed:  Connie

Emperor Gum Moth Caterpillar

Dear Connie,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae, and we believe we have correctly identified it as the Emperor Gum Moth Caterpillar,
Opodiphthera eucalypti, which is pictured on Butterfly House.  According to Butterfly House:  “Cherry Guava ( Psidium cattleyanum )” is listed as a food plant.  The Emperor Gum Moth Caterpillar is also pictured on Jungle Dragon and on the Woodlands Historic Park site.  Another possibility is that this might be Syntherata leonae, a species with no common name whose caterpillars are described on Butterfly House as:  “Later the caterpillars become olive green with a yellow line along each side, and have pink-tipped tubercles each of which has a cluster of short stiff hairs.”  The latter species is also pictured on Aus-Lep.  Neither is considered harmful.  Perhaps someone with more expertise in Australian Saturniids will be able to provide more clarification.

Update:  Thanks to a comment from Matthew Connors, we are concluding that this is Syntherata escarlata.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Green hornworm (?) from Ecuador
Geographic location of the bug:  Jorupe Reserve, near Macará, Loja, Ecuador (near the Peruvian border)
Date: 04/02/2019
Time: 07:55 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This photo was taken at the Jorupe Reserve (same location as my Eumorpha triangulum earlier today) on March 9.  This caterpillar is at least 3 inches long and very fat.  As we walked along the trail, these were falling out of certain trees to the ground.  I’m thinking it’s another Sphingidae/Hornworm.
How you want your letter signed:  David

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear David,
We agree that this does appear to be a Hornworm in the family Sphingidae, but it is not possible to discern a caudal horn due to your camera angle.  Can you confirm a caudal horn?  Can you provide an image that shows the horn?  We will continue to research this matter and hopefully provide you with an identification.  We will once again contact Bill Oehlke to take advantage of his expertise.

Daniel, here are my only other shots of this caterpillar, all the same individual.  I see no horn.
By the way, I have reduced the resolution on these to make it easier to send them over my inadequate internet connection.  Let me know if you need higher res.

Thanks for your help.

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Thanks for sending additional images David.  We have forwarded them to Bill Oehlke and are still awaiting a response.  We would not want to rule out that this might be a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae.

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Daniel, I am pretty sure it is Caio harrietae.
Caio harrietae (Forbes, 1944) (Arsenura).
Do I have permission to post this image and the Eumorpha triangulum image?
Bill Oehlke

Ed. Note:  See our archive for images of adult Caio harrietae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Fuzzy reddish/orange, black and white caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Date: 02/19/2019
Time: 08:01 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Found this caterpillar inching along the ground today (feb 19, 2019) and haven’t had any luck figuring out what type it it! I thought maybe in the Tussock family?
How you want your letter signed:  Emily

Shag Carpet Caterpillar

Dear Emily,
This is a very distinctive and impressive looking Caterpillar.  Our first hunch is the superfamily Noctuoidea which includes the Tussock Moths.  We will attempt to provide you with a species identification, and perhaps our readership will be able to provide some information.

Facebook Comment from Karla Thompson
Prothysana felderi.
Shag Carpet caterpillar.

Update
We learned the Shag Carpet Caterpillar is in the family Apatelodidae, the American Silkworm Moths.  According to All About Butterflies:  “The larva of 
Prothysana felderi varies in appearance from instar to instar. It also occurs in various colour forms across its geographical range. Some varieties have a buff or olive ground colour, with tussocks of red setae on the thoracic and anal segments, while others are deep red, with ribbons of black or white setae along the backs.  The larvae feed on Philodendron, Heliconia, Welfia, Aegifila, Chamaedora, Piptocarpha, Pentaclethra, Piper, Stigmaphyllon, Neea, Lycianthes, and Heliocarpus.”  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Mbeya, Tanzania
Date: 02/07/2019
Time: 03:27 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugma:  We found this caterpillar in our yard today! We’re wondering what it will turn into? It sure is beautiful!
How you want your letter signed:  The Ornelas family

Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Ornelas family,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar from the family Saturniidae.  This Caterpillar does not look well and we fear it will not survive to adulthood.  Perhaps it is the victim of internal parasites.  We will attempt to identify the species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillars, black with red spots and white spines
Geographic location of the bug:  Harare, Zimbabwe
Date: 01/31/2019
Time: 05:01 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hundreds of these caterpillars appear on only one tree in the garden, only in January. Sorry we don’t know the name of the tree either! We would love to know what butterfly or moth they turn into.
How you want your letter signed:  Julian

Cabbage Tree Emperor Moth Caterpillars

Dear Julian,
We are very amused by your image of a bowl full of Cabbage Emperor Moth Caterpillars,
Bunaea alcinoe, because this species is eaten in some regions.  More information on the nutritional content can be found on this Eureka Mag article.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  I’ve never seen anything like this bug
Geographic location of the bug:  McKinney Texas
Date: 01/07/2019
Time: 04:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this bug when working on my foundation. I thought it was a tool at first, I put it on my workbench outside. This AM when I started working outside I found it again and wondered how it fell off the bench and made it that far away. I put it back on the bench and got back to work, about an hour later I saw it moving… a lot. I put it back where I got it from. I had that thing close to my face, smelled it and everything…. gave me the creeps after I found out it was a bug. If you look at it closely the little pattern resembled a decoration you might find on an older tool’s handle.
How you want your letter signed:  Paul in McKinney

Giant Silkmoth Pupa

Dear Paul,
This is a moth Pupa, the intermediate state between the caterpillar and the adult during which time metamorphosis occurs.  Large moth pupae found underground are generally members of two families:  Sphingidae the Sphinx Moths and Saturniidae the Giant Silkmoths.  We believe your pupa is a member of the latter family, but we cannot provide an exact species identification.  We do not believe it is an Imperial Moth or Regal Moth because it differs from these individuals posted to our site.  Most members of the family found in Texas build a cocoon, but a number of species form a naked pupa underground like the one you discovered.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination