Purple Carrot Seed Moth Caterpillar on Dill

Subject: What are these?
Location: Elwood, IL
July 13, 2015 6:10 am
I found these caterpillar/larva on my dill and am not able to identify them. Can you help? I have swallowtaill caterpillars on my dill and am hoping these won’t kill the caterpillars.
Signature: Penny

Unknown Caterpillars on Dill
Purple Carrot Seed Moth Caterpillars on Dill

Dear Penny,
We are still working on this identification.  The internet is filled with Black Swallowtail Caterpillars feeding on dill, but we are having problems identifying your caterpillars.  They remind us of the Sophora Worm, but we cannot find any record of them feeding on dill, their diet being confined to members of the legume family.  We suspect this is some species of moth, and we don’t believe you need to worry about them killing Swallowtail caterpillars.

Update:  15 July 2016
A special thanks to Jennifer who after nearly a year provided us with an ID for the Purple Carrot-Seed Caterpillar, Depressaria depressana, in the Twirler Moth superfamily Gelechioidea, which represents a new subcategory for our site.  Jennifer also provided a BugGuide link where it states this introduced species and:  “The larvae feed on plants in the parsley family, mainly the flowers and unripe seeds. Hosts include coriander, dill, carrot (Daucus carota), anise (Pimpinella), fennel, caraway, cumin (Cuminum cyminum), celery, parsley, parsnip (Pastinaca), and cow-parsnip”

2 thoughts on “Purple Carrot Seed Moth Caterpillar on Dill”

    • Thanks for providing the ID of the Purple Carrot-Seed Moth Caterpillar. This will represent a new subcategory of Twirler Moth Caterpillars in the superfamily Gelechioidea.


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