Oleander Caterpillar

Please Please identify these for me!
These buggers have been devouring my pretty vine (I think it’s an Allamana vine) and I can’t seem to find it in any book. I’d like to get them off my vine as they completely eat it. I need to identify them first though so I know how to kindly get rid of them. I’d like to know if they are moths, bugs or butterfly, so please let me know. Thanks for your help!

Hi Jennifer,
At first your letter had us puzzled as this is an Oleander Caterpillar and we thought it fed solely on Oleander. We quickly realized this must be an error as the moth is native and oleander is not. The Oleander Caterpillar will metamorphose into the lovely Polkadot Wasp Moth, Syntomeida epilais. BugGuide informed us that the caterpillar also feeds on Devil’s Potato or Rubbervine, Echites umbellata, and that is a native vine in the family Apocynaceae. When oleander was introduced, the moth quickly adapted to this new food source.

2 thoughts on “Oleander Caterpillar”

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