Currently viewing the category: "Tent Caterpillars and Kin"

Subject: FOR IDENTIFICATION
Location: Sitio Inamong, Arakan Valley, North Cotabato, Philippines
November 15, 2016 4:10 am
Hi Mr. BugMan! I’d like to verify if this is a White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar? Coz the 4 tufts toward the head are brown instead of the usual white tufts. Found this in a field of cogon grass. Thanks a lot!
Signature: -Dana

Tussock Moth Caterpillar:  Orgyia species

Tussock Moth Caterpillar: Orgyia species

Dear Dana,
Your caterpillar bears an uncanny resemblance to the White Marked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma, but because of your location and the subtle differences in color, we suspect your individual is a closely related species in the same genus.   Project Noah has a dead ringer for your caterpillar posted, but alas, it is only identified to the genus level.  Project Noah indicates:  “The caterpillar, or larval, stage of these species often has a distinctive appearance of alternating bristles and haired projections. Like other families of moths, many Tussock Moth caterpillars have urticating hairs (often hidden among longer, softer hairs) which can cause painful reactions if they come into contact with skin.”

Subject: Unusual Bug
Location: Columbia, SC
October 10, 2016 6:22 am
Students found this bug at school and we would like to identify it.
Signature: L Adair

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear L Adair,
This is most likely a Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma, but we would not rule out that it is a different species in a genus that has many similar looking caterpillars.  You should warn any young children to avoid handling Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillars because, according to BugGuide:  “CAUTION: Avoid handling the caterpillar, as its hair is known to cause allergic reactions, especially in areas of the body with sensitive skin (e.g. back, stomach, inner arms). Seek medical treatment if a severe reaction occurs.”

Subject: Unknown Caterpillar
Location: Palominas, AZ, Cochise County
September 26, 2016 4:15 pm
This caterpillar was found on a Mesquite tree in Palominas, Arizona, Cochise County, on or around September 24, 2016, by Jessica Ray. She requested that I submit her photos for identification.
Signature: Delores

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Delores,
This is definitely a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, but we cannot say for certain which species or even definitively which genus.  According to a posting entitled Living Illusions on the Lappet Moth 
Phyllodesma americana on the Beautiful Nightmares blog:  “The caterpillars munch on leaves by night, hiding on twigs and bark by day. They are also well-hidden, but because they have to be able to live on a variety of different trees, each of which has a differently-colored bark, lappet caterpillars don’t have a color that matches a particular background. Instead they, like their parent moths, have bodies with distorted outlines, specifically a lateral fringe of long hairs.  On bark, this helps a caterpillar “merge” with the bark on which it rests. …  Animals that depend on camouflage have to stay very still to avoid detection, but if they are spotted, staying still quickly becomes futile. Many animals use color to startle predators as a backup plan, the best-known example being the red-eyed tree frog. At rest, the frogs appear a solid leafy-green, but if disturbed, they quickly open their eyes. The sudden appearance of two giant, bright red eyes can be enough to startle a predator, which might give the frog time enough to make a hasty escape.”  Discover Life has images that support that might be a correct species identification, however, based on this BugGuide image, we would not rule out that it might be in the genus Tolype.  At any rate, your marvelous images clearly depict both the camouflage and the flash of warning colors.    

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Thank you Daniel for identifying the Lappet moth caterpillar.  I searched high and low trying to identify it myself and finally gave up.  Again, many thanks.
Delores

Subject: Insect ID, please.
Location: Cleveland, TN
August 31, 2016 5:34 am
Found this little fuzzy “thing” on the backside of a leaf on my River Birch tree. Never have seen anything like this before so would like to know exactly what it is. Can you help?
Signature: Rick McCormick

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear Rick,
You can see by comparing your caterpillar to the one in this BugGuide image that this is a Whitemarked Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Orgyia leucostigma.  According to BugGuide:  “CAUTION: Contact with hairs may cause an allergic reaction.”

Subject: what is it?
Location: ohio
August 10, 2016 3:25 pm
I live in Collinsville Ohio. 30 miles North of Cincinnati. This interesting creature was on my garage door. Its Aug10th. A tad bit humid out. 85degrees.
Signature: Tracey

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Tracey,
This is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, possibly from the genus
Tolype based on this BugGuide image.

Subject: What is the exactly
Location: Pretoria south africa
July 3, 2016 3:36 am
Found this caterpillar on the bricks by my house. If I’m not mistaken some kind of lappet moth
Signature: Peter

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Lappet Moth Caterpillar

Dear Peter,
We agree that this is a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae, and there is a matching image on iSpot, but it is only identified to the family level.  It appears like it might be the same species or a closely related species to this Indian Lappet Moth Caterpillar.