Subject: Caterpillars unknown?
Location: Florida central
May 8, 2016 8:52 pm
I’d love to find out what kind of beautiful butterfly or moth this is ? I have looked all over hope you can help!
This Inchworm or Spanworm in the family Geometridae is commonly called a Filament Bearer or Horned Spanworm, Nematocampa resistaria, because of the unusual protrusions on its body. Your individual has much more exaggerated markings than most of the individuals pictured on BugGuide. According to BugGuide, the caterpillar is: “Strange! Eversible tentacles extend from the dorsal surface of A2 and A3. In the first photo (below, left) they are in the ‘relaxed’ condition; when the caterpillar is alarmed these tentacles can be extended to 2x their resting length. These same structures probably occur in other species in the genus; but otherwise I believe they may be unique.”
Correction: September 17, 2018
Thanks to a comment from John and Jana Balaban, we have updated this posting of a Curve Lined Owlet, Phyprosopus callitrichoides, which is profiled on BugGuide.