Currently viewing the category: "Tent Caterpillars and Kin"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mystery Caterpillar
Location: Central Texas (Ft Hood Area)
April 9, 2011 8:14 pm
Hello,
I’m a field biologist working in central Texas and I stumble upon a lot of caterpillars during my work.
I found this particular one on a low growing oak species, possibly Shin Oak.
I was wondering if you might know what it is?
Thanks!
Signature: writerwren

American Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear writerwren,
We took a gamble and did a web search for “caterpillar red stripes” and we quickly identified your American Lappet Moth Caterpillar,
Phyllodesma americana, on BugGuide which states:  “Larva: body with blue, black/gray, white, and orange on the back, and densely hairy lobes (lappets) along sides; top of eighth abdominal segment with unpaired hump; when stretched out or alarmed, exposes bright orange band across top of second and third thoracic segments.”  Here is an image on BugGuide that shows the two red stripes.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Yellow moth
Location: Sri Racha, Chonburi, Thailand
February 12, 2011 10:28 pm
I recently collected some large, hairy yellow striped caterpillars for my grade 3 Science class. One of them has just emerged from its cocoon as a yellow moth about 3 centimeters in length. When I googled ”yellow moth”none of the images showed a moth quite like this one.
Signature: Alan Walmsley

Possibly Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Hi Alan,
Both your caterpillar and the adult moth remind us of the North American Lappet Moths in the family Lasiocampidae, and even more specifically, those in the genus
Phyllodesma.  Here is a comparison photo of a North American caterpillar from BugGuide, and here is an adult moth also from BugGuide.  Though the coloration is quite different, the manner in which the moth holds its underwings in relation to the upper wings is strikingly similar.  Again, this is just a guess, and we hope to be able to provide you with additional information on our own as well as through reader contributions.

Lappet Moth

We immediately tried a search of the family in Thailand and found a Moths of Borneo website, and on Plate 6, and there is an image of a mounted specimen identified as a female Trabala ganesha that looks remarkably like your moth.  Here is a photo from the Foto Biodiversitas Indonesia website and an even better match are these images of Trabala vishnou from Thailand on this Taxonomy website: http://193.166.3.2/pub/sci/bio/life/insecta/lepidoptera/ditrysia/bombycoidea/lasiocampidae/trabala/index.html.

Lappet Moth

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Giant Caterpillar

Unidentified Caterpillar

Giant Caterpillar
Location: Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia.
December 17, 2010 4:02 am
My sister found this giant caterpillar in RDC – Rainforest Discovery Centre.
I had measured it with my ruler, it is 11cm long.
It is quiet, doesn’t move much.
This is the largest caterpillar I had ever seen, is this a world record ?
Signature: C.X. Wong

Unidentified Caterpillar

Dear C.X. Wong,
While we do not recognize your Caterpillar, we will post the images and hopefully one of our readers will be able to provide some input.  We are uncertain what the largest caterpillar in the world might be, but the Hickory Horned Devil is the largest North American Caterpillar according to BugGuide.  According to Green Answers, it can grow to 14 centimeters, which is larger than the specimen in Malaysia.

might be Tea Oil Caterpillar

Ed. Note: December 18, 2010
We received a comment yesterday that this is the caterpillar of
Lebeda nobilis Walker,1855.  We did a web search of that name and found an Asian website with images of the life cycle and the caterpillar matches somewhat. Another Asian website has images that seem to be a closer match.  The caterpillar is also pictured on Bettaman’s Photostream on Flickr. We found a journal posted online with no images that associates the common name Tea Oil Caterpillar with this species.  Even if this is not the correct species, the resemblance is quite close and probably indicates that the family Lasiocampidae, the Tent Caterpillars and Lappet Moths, is correct.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Tanzanian Uber Caterpillar
Location: Tanzania, East Africa
December 9, 2010 10:34 pm
In 2008, I walked across Tanzania. Whilst there I ran into all sorts of fun bugs -a stickbug as long as my forearm, mantids and locusts, and even a horde of hungry siafu that overran our camp in the middle of the night (not to mention ants that can jump). After all the adventure, I took a few days on the beach, whereupon I ran into this beastie. He was big (as long as my hand), bright, beautiful and, years later, I still have no clue what he was. Help?
Signature: Corvus

Unknown Caterpillar

Dear Corvus,
This is just about the most unusual Caterpillar photo we have ever received.  We are going to try to search the World’s Largest Saturniidae Website, though we are not even certain that it is the caterpillar of a Saturniid Moth.  We will also try to contact Bill Oehlke to see if he recognizes your caterpillar.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide some assistance.    Often knowing the food plant can be of some assistance.  Many tropical insects, especially in their earlier stages, are not well documented.  Even if we are not able to eventually provide you with an identification, we are thrilled to be able to post your incredible photos.

Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have any better picture of the tree it was on- all I can tell you, after a few years, was that said tree didn’t have any problem growing in sand maybe ten feet from the beach.  It was also in a relatively populated area – less than 10km south of Dar es Saalam which has been an active port city since the 1800s- so hopefully someone has managed to document this particular insect by now.
Funny enough, the beach it was by is named Kipepeo, which is Swahili for “Butterfly”.
I tried to do some googling on my own, but (obviously) no luck.  Hopefully your resources can turn up an answer! Thank you.
Corvus
http://corvustristis.wordpress.com

Hi again Corvus,
We are blown away by your website and we wonder if you are familiar with Lisa Anne Auerbach’s Steal This Sweater website.  What’s That Bug began its life as a column on Lisa Anne’s now defunct American Homebody website and we have a long history of artistic collaboration together.

Update on Food Plant:  SeaGrape
Unknown Caterpillar from Tanzania Comment
December 13, 2010 1:21 am
If it might be of help in making an ID, I believe the tree this caterpillar was on, is possibly Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera), native to Florida and tropical America. I lived on Hawaii for some years, where it is a popular, introduced landscaping/parking lot plant, particularly thriving in seaside locations; apparently this is true in other warm locales, as well.
Signature: Dee Warnock

Update:  August 3, 3015
We just received a comment that this appears to be a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, and the link provided indicates that is a very likely possibility, prompting us to remove its unidentified status.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Fall Webworms?
Location:  Northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati, OH
August 4, 2010 10:12 am
Dear Bugman,
I’ve taken some photos that I believe are of fall webworms. This appeared almost overnight. The catepillars are still very small, but they look to be the white/cream black-headed variety. They’re so beautifully furry that it’s almost impossible to see where they end and the web begins.
I liked the way the sun was shining on the web and the catepillars, making them almost glow.
Thought I’d submit them to you since I couldn’t find many shots of these guys on your site and thought you may be interested in them.
Ragdoll

Fall Webworms

Hi again Ragdoll,
YOur stunning photographs of Fall Webworms,
Hyphantria cunea, are a welcome addition to our website.

Fall Webworms

Hi Daniel,
Glad you liked the pics. What a difference a day makes…24 little hours…
Today my caterpillars think they are all grown up. They are fully white and luxuriantly fuzzy with a lovely green stripe down their backs. They’re bursting out of their web and looking for place to call their own to feast before entering the pupae stage on their way to becoming lovely white moths.
*sigh* They grow up so fast….
Regards,
Rags

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

(no subject)
Hi
I found these strange webs and what look like egg sacs in the trees in the garden. I was just wondering if you would be able to tell me what spider has made them as i’ve never seen anything like it before. The webs that i think contain egg sacs are about the size of a tennis ball.
Thanks, Zoe Lehan

Fall Webworm nest

Hi Zoe,
You did not provide us with a location for your images.  Your images are small files lacking in clarity and detail, but we suspect these are the nests of the Fall Webworm, and not the Eastern Tent Caterpillar.  According to BugGuide, with the Eastern Tent Caterpillar,
Malacosoma americanum:  “Tents appear in early spring, and caterpillars are seen until early summer.”  By contrast, the Fall Webworm, Hyphantria cunea, according to BugGuide builds:  “Weblike tents in branch tips where clusters of caterpillars strip foliage (by contrast, eastern tent caterpillar nests are built in tree crotches).” BugGuide also indicates: “Caterpillars are found June to September or October in the north; May to October in the south. Larva are most often noticed when they reach final instar and wander out of their home trees to find a place to pupate.”

Fall Webworm nest

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination