Spotted Oleander Caterpillar from Puerto Rico

Subject: Caterpillar
Location: Vieques, Puerto Rico
January 19, 2016 9:19 am
Can someone please identify these caterpillars. They are infesting one of my plants 🙁
Signature: Playacofi

Spotted Oleander Caterpillar
Spotted Oleander Caterpillar

Dear Playacofi,
Knowing the plant host is often a great help in identifying caterpillars and other herbivorous insects.  This is a Spotted Oleander Caterpillar,
Empyreuma affinis, and it is commonly found feeding on oleander.  According to Featured Creatures:  “It is a native of the Caribbean region and has been recorded from Guadeloupe, Martinique, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Cuba.”  The plant in your image does not appear to be oleander, which is the food plant identified on BugGuide.  You can compare your image to this image on BugGuide for verification.

3 thoughts on “Spotted Oleander Caterpillar from Puerto Rico”

  1. The accepted name is Empyreuma pugione, E. affinis is a junior synonym. (Weller SJ, Simmons RB, Carlson AL. 2004. Empyreuma species and species limits: Evidence from morphology and molecules (Arctiidae). Journal of Lepidopterists Society. 58(1): 21-32.) It is a common specie in Puerto Rico. Since it is native from the Caribbean and the oleander is not, it is quite sure it has/had another unknow host plants.

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  2. In Yabucoa, Puerto Rico and I noticed this bright orange caterpillar devoured my beautiful lush green vine and my yellow bloomed plant

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