Currently viewing the category: "Silkworms"

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

Subject:  Green and black hairy caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Mayan Ruins (Koba), Quintana Roo, Mexico
Your letter to the bugman:  Good evening! My family and I came across this beautiful gem of a caterpillar and I cannot find it anywhere on the web. Maybe perhaps you might know.
How you want your letter signed:  Keli rae

Possibly Automeris metzli Caterpillar

Dear Keli,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar, probably in the genus
Automeris, and quite possibly Automeris metzli which is pictured on Project Noah.  Caterpillars in the genus can sting.

Thank you so much! It’s such a beautiful moth, as well as larvae..

Subject:  Wierd looking bug appearedin my backyard
Date: 03/20/2021
Time: 01:49 AM EDT
Geographic location of the bug:  Australia, Victoria
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi! The other day this weird bug was eating my flowers so I carefully picked it up and put it on the sidewalk. Can you please try to figure out what it is?
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks, from TheBugQueen

Hickory Horned Devil: IN AUSTRALIA?????

Dear TheBugQueen,
Had you sent this email today, we would have thought for sure that you were pranking us on April Fool’s Day, but you sent this identification request in over a week and a half ago.  This is a Hickory Horned Devil, the caterpillar of the Royal Walnut Moth, but it is not native to Australia.  This species is native to eastern North America.  We have no idea how it got to Australia.  Perhaps there is a Saturniid fancier in your neighborhood who raised specimens and some escaped.  To the best of our knowledge, there are no known populations of
Citheronia regalis naturalized in Australia.  We are tagging this as a mystery.

 

Subject:  caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  China Grove, TX 78263
Date: 03/30/2020
Time: 05:29 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I have never seen this type caterpillar before.  I cannot find any pictures like it online. It was about 3-4 four inches long. Can you identify it and the butterfly or math it morphs into?  Thank You!
How you want your letter signed:  Mako Ivory

Calleta Silkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Mako,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar from the family Saturniidae, and we quickly identified it as a Calleta Silkmoth Caterpillar,
Eupackardia calleta, thanks to images on BugGuide.  Here is an image of the adult Calleta Silkmoth from our archives.

Subject:  Luna Moth Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Eagle River, Wisconsin
Date: 10/01/2019
Time: 10:19 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this caterpillar on a nearby wooded pathway yesterday, and didn’t know what it was or where it was going–end of September can usher in very cold temperatures here.  So, at home we identified it as a Luna Moth Caterpillar.  We want to properly release it back into the wild.  It would be lovely to have seen it develop into the moth, but we don’t feel confident that we can keep it healthy.  Will it over-winter here in the North?  or Will it still be able to mate yet this autumn?  It was found under a soft Maple tree quite close to a lake and alder bushes near the lake and surrounding wetland.  I was even wondering if it could drown?  Thank you for information so that we can release it soon and get it on its way to the right environment.
How you want your letter signed:  The Rasmussens

Polyphemus Caterpillar

Dear Rasmussens,
Luna Moth Caterpillars and Polyphemus Moth Caterpillars can be difficult to distinguish from one another.  We believe your caterpillar is a Polyphemus Caterpillar.  The identifying feature is a pale yellow band that runs through the spiracles or breathing holes on the Polyphemus Caterpillar.  It is described on BugGuide as:  “Larva: body large, bright green, with red and silvery spots below setae, and oblique yellow lines running through spiracles on abdomen; diagonal streak of black and silver on ninth abdominal segment; head and true legs brown; base of primary setae red, subdorsal and lateral setae have silver shading below; end of prolegs with yellow ring, and tipped in black.”  At this time of year in your location, we speculate this individual is preparing to pupate and it will overwinter in the cocoon.  Caterpillars are not aquatic.  They can drown.

Dear Daniel:?? Thank you for the information.?? It is nice to know what it is– Polyphemus, not Luna, and that it will overwinter.?? It started spinning yesterday between two leaves in the leaf litter at the bottom of the container, currently in our garage.?? So now, we will have to decide the next step:?? possibly to get info on overwintering it in our refrigerator with a constant temperature or it will be subjected to?? subzero temperatures for much of our Northern Wisconsin winter.?? If you had thoughts and time on this, don’t hesitate to drop a line.?? We appreciate and feel fortunate to have had your communication.?? Much of the information we were finding is not specific in details or confusing.???? –Patty & Eric Rasmussen

Dear Patty and Eric,
We do not raise caterpillars, but in captivity, one needs to be cognizant of temperature and humidity.  Too warm and the moth will emerge prematurely.  Too damp or too dry it might not survive.  We would recommend keeping it outdoors in a protected location where it will benefit from precipitation, but not get too wet.

Subject:  Spiky caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  New York State
Date: 09/07/2019
Time: 01:07 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
This was taken today in New York State.  I’ve searched trying to indenting this one but it has me stumped. Any info would be much appreciated. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Kat

Buck Moth Caterpillar

Dear Kat,
Based on this BugGuide image, your caterpillar appears to be that of a Buck Moth,
Hemileuca maia.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution, caterpillars can inflict painful sting.”