Subject: caterpillar from Western Mexico
Location: Lo De Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico
December 14, 2015 11:00 am
I’ve found 4 caterpillars like this on the leaves of a potted Areca Palm. It seems quite flat, has a split tail and has a shield-shaped head with 2 horns at the back. It it is green with a pronounced orange stripe in the center of the back and paler light green strips on either side. This biggest one has very pale orange-ish patterns on the sides as well.
Signature: Sally Vedder

Orange Owl Butterfly Caterpillar

Owl Butterfly Caterpillar

Dear Sally,
We have identified your caterpillar as that of an Orange Owl Butterfly,
Opsiphanes boisduvallii, a species that feeds on palms in the caterpillar stage.

December 14, 2015 1:35 pm
Thanks so much for identifying this caterpillar for me.  We have the Opsiphanes Cassina (Split-Banded Owl Butterfly) here in Nayarit.  I have found several empty pupa cases on the same palms and have seen the butterfly fluttering around that palm.  Thanx again!  Sally V
Signature: Sally Vedder

At least we had the genus correct.

You DID help me to look again into my Wildlife Book of Nayarit and see that yes indeed it was the Cassina.  The photograph in the book was very dark & hard to use.  So thank you VERY MUCH!  This is a great website & as I find puzzling insects & things around my house, I may well visit you again! Thanx again.  Sally V

Location: Lo De Marcos, Nayarit, Mexico

One Response to Owl Butterfly Caterpillar

  1. Summer Booth says:

    This one looks very familiar to me. I found one that looked exactly the same but the colour was a little bit darker. It was hiding in my indoor palm tree. I am curious how it ever got there.

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