Currently viewing the category: "Caterpillars and Pupa"

Subject:  caterpillar id?
Geographic location of the bug:  oakland california
Date: 08/23/2021
Time: 07:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  my red buckwheat in the oakland hills has these small caterpillars on them.  Any idea what they are?
How you want your letter signed:  Alex

Unknown Gossamer Wing Caterpillar

Dear Alex,
This is the Caterpillar of a Gossamer Winged Butterfly in the family Lycaenidae, but we are not certain of the species.  It might be one of the Hairstreaks like this BugGuide image of a Gray Hairstreak Caterpillar on Buckwheat, or it might be one of the Blues, like this BugGuide image of a Square Spotted Blue Caterpillar also on BuckWheat.

Unknown Gossamer Wing Caterpillar

Thank you for the ID!

Subject:  caterpillar ID
Geographic location of the bug:  Orange county NYS
Date: 08/21/2021
Time: 06:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Can you please Id this? Took it of concord grapes growing outside in field.
How you want your letter signed:  Linda

Eight Spotted Forester Caterpillar

Dear Linda,
This is the caterpillar of an Eight Spotted Forester,
Alypia octomaculata, which is pictured on Butterflies and Moths of North America.  Grape is a known food plant.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you very much. I put it back on the grapes, its quite beautiful.



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.

Subject:  Green Worm?
Geographic location of the bug:  Spokane, WA
Date: 08/14/2021
Time: 02:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  found this little guy hiding in the lower crevice underneath my sliding door to the backyard. small enough to fit under the door entirely. i couldn’t see any legs and it seems to only move by flexing its body like a worm. thicker (and greener) than a worm, however. reacted a little to simply blowing in it but it didn’t react when i tapped it with a toothpick (not the sharp sides, i don’t wanna hurt it). no bigger than my index finger in length
How you want your letter signed:  Connor S.

One Eyed Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Connor,
This is not a Worm.  It is a Caterpillar, more specifically a Hornworm, a caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  Now comes the interesting part.  It sure looks like the caterpillar of a Lime Hawkmoth,
Mimas tiliae, but that is a European species that is pictured on Wildlife Insight.  12 years ago we posted a sighting of a Lime Hawkmoth in Pennsylvania and through that posting we learned that Lime Hawkmoths have already been reported in eastern Canada.  Doug Yanega, an entomologist at UC Riverside informed us:  “The Lime Hawkmoth is already known from eastern canada so Pennsylvania is just the first time it has been sighted across the US border. Probably introduced carelessly or intentionally from someone who has imported and was rearing Sphinx Moths from overseas.”  According to iNaturalist:  ” the lime hawk-moth, is a moth of the family Sphingidae. It is found throughout the Palearctic region and the Near East, and has also been identified in eastern Canada and in northern Spain (Europe).”  Twelve years have passed since that posting and it is entirely possible that the Lime Hawkmoth has either expanded its North American range across the continent or that it hitched across the country with tourists.  We might be wrong in our identification.  Perhaps Dr. Bostjan Dvorak or another specialist in the family Sphingidae will either confirm or correct our tentative identification.  If we are correct, this might be a first sighting in Washington as we are unable to locate any information on its presence there.

Update:  August 22, 2021
Thanks to a comment from Bostjan Dvorak, we have been informed that this is a One Eyed Sphinx Caterpillar, not a Lime Hawkmoth Caterpillar.

Subject:  Yellow Swallowtail Chrysalizing
Geographic location of the bug:  West Los Angeles
Date: 08/10/2021
Time: 11:35 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
I decided to protect a few yellow swallowtail caterpillars from the wasps that patrol my yard, so I put them in a small tank. All four of them have now chrysalized.
By the way, are chrysalizing and chrysalized real words?
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar and Chrysalides

Hey Jeff,
You are the one who brought up questions about etymology, the study of words, as well as entomology, the study of insects.   Before we answer your question, we want to address some other etymology.  Let’s start with “Yellow Swallowtails” because these look like early stages of Anise Swallowtails and you have called Anise Swallowtails by the name Yellow Swallowtails in prior submissions.   According to iNaturalist:  “
Papilio zelicaon, the anise swallowtail, is a common swallowtail butterfly of western North America. Both the upper and lower sides of its wings are black, but the upper wing has a broad yellow stripe across it, giving the butterfly an overall yellow appearance. There are striking blue spots on the rear edge of the rear wing, and the characteristic tails of the swallowtails. Its wingspan is 52–80 mm (2.04-3.15 inches). … There is a somewhat darker subspecies, P. z. nitra, which is rare throughout the range, though somewhat more often found at lower elevations.”  Etymology item #2 on our end is that we prefer the little used word chrysalides as the plural form of chrysalis.

Now regarding your questions:  Chrysalizing is the name of a new age type of website.  According to Merriam-Webster, dictionary listings near chrysalis are:  “Chrysal, chrysalid, chrysalides, chrysalis, chrysalises, chrysaloid, Chrysamine” and chrysalizing and chrysalized are noticeably absent, so we have to say that as words, they do not currently exist in the English language, however, we understand perfectly what you would imply should you use those words in a sentence.

Thank you so much for allowing us to indulge in a touch of fun while responding to you.

P.S.  We have to tag you with the Bug Humanitarian Award for saving these chrysalides from predation by Wasps.

Thanks for the clarification Daniel. I’ve often wondered of Yellow Swallowtail and Anise Swallowtail are two names for the same butterfly. Maybe I should have known better as the females are attracted to my yard by fennel plants.
So, what is the term you use to describe what I mean by chrysalizing?
Since there is no verb that can be constructed from the root chrysalis, you can use an appropriate verb and the noun, as in “forming a chrysalis”.  There might  be another verb.  We frequently use “metamorphosing” to refer to transformation at any stage of the process except hatching from the egg.

Subject:  Caterpillar identification
Geographic location of the bug:  northern Ontario, Canada
Date: 08/08/2021
Time: 08:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help me to identify this little guy. I saved him from my kitty, and well certain death. Please help?
How you want your letter signed:  Ms. Tara Lilian

Red Humped Caterpillar

Dear Ms. Tara Lilian,
This is a Red Humped Caterpillar,
Schizura concinna, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on a wide range of woody plants, from many different families.”