Long Tailed Skipper Caterpillar

Florida Caterpiller
Location:  DeLand, Forida
July 24, 2010 11:30 am
Can you tell what kind of caterpiller this is? It was found in DeLand, Florida on a Pole Bean plant in my garden on July 24, 2010.
Thank you for your help.
Sincerely, Maria

Long Tailed Skipper Caterpillar

Hi Maria,
This is a Skipper Caterpillar in the family Hesperiidae.  Skippers are butterflies, but they are often described as being a transitional family between butterflies and moths.  Many Skipper Caterpillars look similar, as you can see on BugGuide.  We believe it may be a Long-Tailed Skipper,
Urbanus proteus, and we found a nice website called Mike’s Page that details how to raise a Long-Tailed Skipper Caterpillar by feeding it leaves from beans.

Long-tailed Skipper caterpillar sex – male or female
July 24, 2010 1:37 pm
The two orange dots just a little over half way down the back of the Long-tailed Skipper caterpillar indicate that its a male.  With a few species you can tell if the larger caterpillars are male or female by these dots.  Brazilian Skipper’s dots are white.
I recently became a fan of whatsthatbug on facebook and am thoroughly enjoying your posts.
Thanks bunches,
Edith Smith

Hi Edith,
Thanks for this wonderful tip.  It is a new one for us as we didn’t think there was an easy way, other than genetic testing, to determine a male from a female caterpillar of any species.  We also appreciate your compliments.

4 thoughts on “Long Tailed Skipper Caterpillar”

  1. I have a bout 15 little long tail Skipper caterpillars on my sweet pea plant right now – I just noticed them yesterday, they were just eggs… And today I looked and they have made little ‘tents’ all on the elves to hide during the day time hours, and they come out at night to feed. It is really neat!!!!


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