Probably Noctuoid Moth Pupa

Thank you for your response. Here is the information, I also attached the 2 photos.

Subject: A Red Grub in NC
Geographic Location: North Carolina – Inner Coastal Plain/Piedmont Region
March 9, 2016 9:58 am
My 4-year-old daughter was digging in the dirt on a sunny 75-degree day in early March, in the greater Raleigh area of North Carolina. She discovered a deep-red grub of some sort just a few inches below the surface, and is very interested in what it is so she can learn more about its life cycle, diet, etc. It does not appear to have legs, but does wriggle at the segmented parts, and it looks like it has developing wings or something, though it is one solid mass at this point. Its mouth is very small, black, and 2-pronged. Any ideas? She has already released her critter, but desperately wants to know more, and my endless search through photo archives has yet to yield any promising results. Thank you!
Homeschool Mom

Moth Pupa
Moth Pupa

Dear Homeschool Mom,
We will not be able to provide you with a specific identification, but this is a moth pupa, most likely in the Superfamily Noctuoidea.  Pupae can be very difficult to identify conclusively.  There is quite a debate over the pupae represented in this BugGuide image.  Our gut reaction is that your daughter found an Owlet Moth Pupa from the family Noctuidae.  See BugGuide images here, here and here.  Many Cutworms form similar pupae.  Keeping the pupa in a container covered in a small amount of moist, not damp, dirt will allow it to continue metamorphosis until maturity at which time identification might be easier, but many Owlet Moths are small, drab moths similar in appearance, and exact species identification may take an expert in the family.  Our identifications with Owlet Moths tend to be general.

Thank you so much for your response! I’ll tell her what you said, and we’ll investigate your links. If she finds it again, we’ll watch the process and see for ourselves. Thank you!

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