Subject: catterpillar
Location: Cyprus
November 18, 2012 2:30 am
i took this a while ago in Cyprus which is an island in the Mediterranean and i cannot identify it but am curious.
Signature: tatiana h

Apochima flabellaria Caterpillar

Dear Tatiana,
We have already spent some time this morning in an attempt to identify the three different caterpillars from Cyprus that you have requested assistance with identifying, but we haven’t had any luck.  This spiny caterpillar has us most curious.  It appears to have only two legs like the Inchworms or Measuring Worms in the moth family Geometridae, but we are not convinced it even belongs in that family.  We thought a caterpillar this distinctive would be easier to identify, but alas, we have come up blank.  Can you provide any additional information?  Your photos indicate you found at least two individuals.  Were they found on any particular plant?

Apochima flabellaria Caterpillar

One photo has them in the sand.  The photos also indicate that they curl into a ball for protection and the spines would keep them from being swallowed by predators such as birds.  None on your caterpillars are represented on this Insects of Cyprussite we found.  We are relatively certain that this is the caterpillar of a moth and that it might be in the family Geometridae.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck with an identification. 

Unknown Caterpillars

Update:  November 18, 2012
Thanks to a comment from Ben from Israel, we now know that this is
Apochima flabellaria, a member of the family Geometridae that Ben says is commonly called the Mediterranean Brindled Beauty, a name that is used on European Butterflies and Moths.  We did find images of the caterpillar on TrekNature and Lepidoptera Pro.


Location: Cyprus

2 Responses to Unknown Caterpillar from Cyprus is Apochima flabellaria

  1. Ben says:

    Hi Tatiana and The Bug Team,
    I believe I found an identification for this spiny caterpillar here: You were right, Daniel, it is in the Geometrid family, more specifically, it is Apochima flabellaria, common name Mediterranean Brindled Beauty.
    Great pictures!
    Ben from Israel.

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