Pre-Pupal Drab Prominent Caterpillar

Subject:  fat, pink, and roly poly
Geographic location of the bug:  vermont, usa
Date: 09/29/2017
Time: 04:50 PM EDT
I work at a childcare center on the vermont-new hampshire border, and i’ve seen a bunch of unusual bugs on the playground this year. i wish i’d found this site earlier, because it would have been able to answer a lot of questions for the curious kids- and their teacher!
I found this guy just crawling around on the ground in the bark mulch and i’ve never seen anything like it before. It was pretty warm earlier this week for late september, could that have anything to do with it?
thank you so much for all your hard work!
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Pre-Pupal Drab Prominent Caterpillar

Dear Molly,
Your caterpillar bears an uncanny resemblance to a Mottled Prominent Moth Caterpillar we just posted, except that individual is green and yours is pink.  Many caterpillars change color just prior to pupation, and that pre-pupal state is often a change in color from green to pink.  We located this image of a pink Mottled Prominent Caterpillar on BugGuide and we consider that an anfirmation of our suspicion, but, closer inspection has us doubting that since your individual is lacking the rear-end projections visible in this BugGuide image and our own image. We still believe this is a Prominent Moth Caterpillar from the family Notodontidae.  We now believe, based on this BugGuide image, that it is a Drab Prominent Caterpillar,
Misogada unicolor.  According to BugGuide, the:  “larvae feed on cottonwood and sycamore” and “larvae can be found on the underside of cottonwood and sycamore leaves April-September.”

Pre-Pupal Drab Prominent Caterpillar

Thank you so much! The kids were all very fascinated, even if some of them didn’t completely understand. Keep up the good work!


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BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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