Subject: ID request
Location: upstate NY
August 4, 2015 7:59 am
Hello my name is Jack and I live in upstate NY. A few days ago my niece found what seems to be a catipillar but I am not sure. My niece and I attempted to find it on the Internet bit we had no such luck. So if you have any idea what type of bug this is my niece and I would gratefully appreciate it. Thank you
This Luna Moth Caterpillar can be distinguished from the very similar looking Polyphemus Moth Caterpillar because, according to BugGuide: “Larva lime-green with pink spots and weak subspiracular stripe on abdomen. Yellow lines cross the larva’s back near the back end of each segment (compare Polyphemus moth caterpillars, which have yellow lines crossing at spiracles). Anal proleg edged in yellow. Sparse hairs.” The large size and pink coloration indicates that this is probably getting ready to pupate, which it does in a cocoon loosely spun around a fallen leaf. Because of your northern location, the cocoon will pass the winter and the adult Luna Moth will emerge in the spring. BugGuide indicates: “One brood in the north, May-July. Three broods in the south, March-September.”
2 thoughts on “Luna Moth Caterpillar”
I found a really big one and kept it in a big bucket with grass and leaves and dirt. Will it spin in there and if it does how long will it take to “pop out a butterfly?” Son loves it!
Luna Moth is not a butterfly. The duration of the pupation is dependent upon your location. According to BugGuide: “One brood in the north, May-July. Three broods in the south, March-September.”