Subject: Large Green Caterpiller
Location: Newburg, PA
August 5, 2017 3:16 pm
We discovered this caterpillar eating the leave of our tulip poplar tree. We don’t want them to destroy the tree as it’s a young tree we transplanted this spring. Can you identify them and is it safe to relocate them? I haven’t been able to find anything that looks similar. We are in south central PA and found these on August 5th.
Signature: Scott Lehman
Based on this BugGuide image, we believe your caterpillars are Promethea Moth Caterpillars, Callosamia promethea, or possibly a related species in the same genus. According to BugGuide: “larvae feed on leaves of apple, ash, basswood, birch, cherry, lilac, maple, sassafras, sipcebush, sweetgum, tulip-tree ; also recorded on buttonbush, magnolia, and other trees. adults do not feed.” There is no need to relocate them as they will not appreciably damage your tulip tree. These individuals are nearly fully grown and they will soon stop eating and pupate.