Currently viewing the category: "Silkworms"

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.

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.

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Antigua Guatemala
Date: 10/21/2018
Time: 03:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I found these caterpillars in my garden in Antigua Guatemala in July.
I made some research and it could be a Costa Rican hairy caterpillar (Automeris metzli ?) but I am not sure as Antigua is located at 1600 m in the mountains…
What do you think ?
Thank you !
How you want your letter signed:  Voiz

Automeris Caterpillar

Dear Voiz,
We believe you have the genus
Automeris correct, but we are not certain of the species.  It looks to us like it might be Automeris boucardi, but we will check with Bill Oehlke to see if he can verify the species identity.

Subject:  Big caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Central Oklahoma
Date: 10/06/2018
Time: 02:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
My friend and I were walking yesterday and came across this beauty.  Could you please tell us what it is?  Thanks for the help!
How you want your letter signed:  Dana and Laurie

Luna Moth Caterpillar

Dear Dana and Laurie,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar in the family Saturniidae, and based on this BugGuide image, we are nearly certain it is a pre-pupal Luna Moth Caterpillar.  This species often turns from green to orange as its time for pupation approaches.

Thank you so much for the information!  My 2nd graders just submitted an entry to the Ugly Bug Contest so I’m really paying attention to bugs right now.  I’ll share this experience with them so that they know that this is available to them.  Really appreciate your time!
Dana Stair
Gifted Resources Coordinator
Jefferson Elementary

Subject:  Polyphemus moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Seattle
Date: 09/24/2018
Time: 11:14 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugma:  Hi – I Found a polyphemus caterpillar in the mail box(!?) and transferred it to an observation tank placed in a classroom.  I provided pin oak leaves and the caterpillar has spun a cocoon.  One website said the cocoon needs to over-winter in a cool place and will emerge in June.  Another website said it will emerge in a couple of weeks.  I would love for this marvelous creature to be able to survive and emerge  – any suggestions?
How you want your letter signed:  Candace Robbins

Polyphemus Caterpillar

Dear Candace,
This is indeed a Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar.  Overwintering in a cool place is excellent advice, but the June emergence is probably information for a location with a cold winter.  According to BugGuide:  “In southern United States, adults fly April–May and July–August (2 broods); in northern part of range, adults fly from May to July (1 brood).”  BugGuide lists Washington sightings from April to October, which leads us to believe you may have two generations, so emergence might happen well before June, possibly even in several weeks.  We just located information that disputes that supposition, because according to Pacific Northwest Moths:  “Our populations are most likely single-brooded with capture dates from mid-April until August.  Second-brooded populations exist in areas with warmer climates.”  You might be able to witness eclosion in April.

Subject:  Spikey Caterpiller
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Ohio
Date: 09/16/2018
Time: 01:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this outside of my home in southern Ohio, is this a brush footed Caterpillar? Are they harmful to humans?
How you want your letter signed:  Shane

Buckmoth Caterpillar

Dear Shane,
Though there are many spiny caterpillars in the Brush Footed Butterfly family Nymphalidae, we believe your caterpillar is a Buckmoth Caterpillar,
Hemileuca maia, based on this BugGuide image.