Black Caterpillar (Eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar)

by Courtney
(Minnesota)

I can't describe it in words.

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Eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Courtney
Your caterpillar is the last stage of this caterpillar before it turns in to a pupa then into a tiger swallowtail butterfly.
These caterpillars look like bird droppings in the first few instars or stages, then as they mature they look like the one you saw but green with eyes, then as they get ready to pupate they darken.
This caterpillar feeds on Magnolia, black cherry, and tulip tree. The butterflies feed on nectar from a variety of flowers.

North Shore of Lake Huron
by: Jo-Anne

We found this caterpillar climbing our door screen. We didn't know that this caterpillar was able to live this far north.

found one
by: molly

i just found one on my sidewalk it looks like it has fake eyes

wow
by: Anonymous

Just found one of these on a trip yesterday. I was very intrigued..Had never seen anything like it

Eeerie
by: Peggy

One of these fell out of a tree onto my husband's shoulder. When we poked him/her, it's tongue came out. Really eerie. We put it in a jar and it was dead by morning. Glad we got pictures of it.

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Camouflage caterpillar (Zale moth caterpillar)

by Teresa Trettin
(Rockford, Iowa)

Central Iowa resident

Central Iowa resident

My husband was picking up sticks and felt this soft fella on a twig. About 3 inches long and no hair that we see. Had never seen anything like this.

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Zale moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Teresa
Dear fellow Iowan, the best guess is a Zale moth caterpillar. The photo is not clear enough for a better ID.

The size, pose and shape say it is either a Zale species or one of the underwing moth caterpillars...Catocala species, but not sure which one.

Either one is a neat find.

The moths do come to lights on the porch, so you might look at moths on the porch with the lights on...unfortunately the moths come around between 10pm to midnight.

mean
by: Anonymous

I had one like this on clothes on the clothesline. It struck at me like a rattlesnake. Then it turned over and displayed vivid colors on its belly.

Zale moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
You could send a photo so we could help with identifying what you saw. That description does not quite fit the zale caterpillars.
We also need to know where you are located, what plants/trees are in the area, etc.

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Scary Snake Head looking caterpillar. (Gaudy sphinx moth caterpillar)

by TANIA GARCIA
(HIALEAH, FLORIDA USA)

SCARY 5

SCARY 5

Scary looking caterpillar. It's head had circles to look like huge eyes. Caterpillar was 4 to 5" long and 1 inch thick. When touched with a stick swung back to bite. On the upper side of it's back side, it had a small rattling tail. This caterpillar is responsible for eating up my plants,even after I sprayed them with pesticides. I have never seen such a large caterpillar. Looked like a snake head with its body cut off. Really weird looking.

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Gaudy sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Tania
I am so glad you did not kill this caterpillar with pesticides!!

This is the gaudy sphinx moth caterpillar. The moth is a gorgeous color of green.

The caterpillar does eat grape vines, Cissus vine, and Christmasbush eupatorium . You did not say what plant in your garden it was eating?

This caterpillar looks large and will be pupating in the soil soon. Hopefully you will get to see the beautiful moth!!

Caterpillars like this do eat some of our garden foliage but are not a pest...it is OK to have a little feeding on your garden plants...that means your garden is alive!

Also, if you have some feeding on plants that means there are some insects there to encourage the birds, frogs, and other insects to come to your garden that feed on those insects. If your garden was sterile - there would be no feeding but also no butterflies or pretty insects you want to see.

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white fuzzy caterpillar, black spikes on back (Spotted Apatelode)

by stefanie
(unites states)

can have more or less spikes

can have more or less spikes

this caterpillar does not hurt or harm anyone by holding it and it
it has lots of fur too!

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Spotted Apatelodes
by: Moni

Stefanie
Your caterpillar is the spotted apatelodes. They are sometimes white as well as yellow. They feed on ash, cherry, maple or oak trees, but are not a pest. Most are found near deciduous woodlands or nearby areas.

The adult is a brown moth that folds its wings much like the sphinx moths do. They are found in eastern N America east of the Rockies.
Neat looking caterpillars and moths. H

white fuzzy caterpillar
by: Anonymous

Now I have a name for them, thanks to all, how do I get rid of them? They are all over, falling from Birch trees and seemingly from the sky. And do they get big and turn into....what?

SPOTTED APATELODE
by: Moni

Anonymous
They feed on ash, cherry, maple or oak trees, but are not a pest. Please do not kill.
Neat looking caterpillars and moths.


Read more: http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/white-fuzzy-caterpillar-black-spikes-on-back-spotted-apatelode-comments.html#ixzz1U0wDnZjs


and red feet, too
by: Sandra in Hudson Valley, NY

I believe I found one of these in my flower garden on a lily stem, and to add a note of interest, it has tiny red feet.

in PA
by: Chris

Yes. In late August I noticed many droppings under my already bloomed peonies and found two of these chomping away.... also noted their red footed booties!

Spotted apatelodes
by: Moni

Ah...yes...they do have red footed booties...actually prolegs :)
Adds to their cuteness! They are a neat find.

HI
by: Anonymous

HI i have one and he.... well or she is sooo cool looking and im hoping to hatch it to a butterfly and i cant wait to see what the evolvesion looks like!!!!!! sorry for the poor spelling!!!! :D

spotted apatolode
by: Anonymous

I just saw own yesterday, so interesting. I observed him on a stick & then put the stick against a tree. I touched him slightly.

One in my House!
by: Anonymous

There's one in my house and my cat is trying to eat it. It's not poisonous is it???

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Black Wooly Caterpillar W/ Highlites (One of Tiger Moths)

by Stephen Rizzo
(Leadville, Colorado)

Inch and 3/4 long with super dense dark hair with light colored tips. Found in montezuma county Colorado on a sandstone boulder after a storm

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Tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Stephen
Your caterpillar is very distinctive but have not found an exact match. My best guess for now is a caterpillar in the Tiger moth tribe.
It looks a little like a tussock moth caterpillar but does not have the tufts of hair in the front and back.
So will keep looking.

What is it
by: Anonymous

I just found one of these in my back yard also. I live in ohio. it a beautiful caterpiller

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Green Catapiller Orange/Yellow/Blue Spikes Cecropia moth caterpillar)

by Jenelle
(Scott County, KY USA)

This little (big) guy was found in my backyard, hanging out on a tire. We live in Central Kentucky just north of Lexington.

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Cecropia moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Jenelle
Your large green caterpillar is a Cecropia moth caterpillar.

It is one of the large silkworm moths in the Saturniidae family. Below is a website to see the moth that your caterpillar turns into.
The caterpillars feed on foliage of many trees and shrubs including maple, oak, cherry, poplar, ash, beech, apple, boxelder, dogwood, gooseberry, elm, and willow. The moths do not feed, but survive on the energy accumulated by the caterpillar.

This insect overwinters as a pupa, so when the caterpillar is finished eating it forms a silky cocoon that is attached to twigs ...then the moth emerges the next spring.

Caterpillar
by: Anonymous

My son just found one of these big guys outside on our maple tree, we live in Tomah, Wisconsin.

Scott Co Ky caterpillar
by: Jody

I am also in Scott co. Ky and found one of these on a knockout rose bush. It was having quite a feast. This is the first one I've ever seen and I am 63 yrs old.

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar
by: Chris

I recently found one in my back yard also. I have never seen these before either. I leave in Western Pennslyvania.

cecropia worm/ catterpiller
by: Anonymous

we just found one in our backyard on a play house. we live in canada, do you think it would survive a canadian winter? I read that they cacoon till spring then turn into a cecropia moth

CECROPIA MOTH CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

Anonymous
If you found the caterpillar in Canada then it will survive Canada's winters. The moth that laid the egg that this caterpillar came from survived last winter :-)

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I live in Rockcastle County, Kentucky and found one of the Cecropia Moth Caterpillar's on my front porch. It's the first time I've ever saw one and for sure it looked scary but interestingly beautiful.

one big caterpillar
by: Anonymous

we just found one that fell out of our butternut tree. we live in ohio near cleveland. i have never seen one of these before....simply amazing!!!!!!!!

Hunter ny
by: Anonymous

Have one in a cacoon under a chair... In hunter ny... Never seen one now just want to protect it.

Cecropia Moth
by: Kerry from Raleigh,NC

I found a cecropia catepillar crawling on my Teva sandle this morning, with my foot in it. That shoe went flying quickly. Fortunately the catepillar survived the flight. It is incredibly beautiful. It must have been feeding on the Wild Cherry tree I was sitting under reading and enjoying my morning coffee. There is another one (I think) that is in a cacoon on the same tree. I am in Raleigh, NC. The catepillar is about 3 inches long and about the size of my thumb.

Cecropia moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Kerry
So glad the caterpillar survived the surprise flight...thanks for sharing such a great find. I am jealous!

Very Pretty
by: Anonymous

Wow....I found this very Beautiful blue and yellow spiked Caterpillar by my tire today. I have never seen one before, I live in Bellevue Nebraska.....

I thought it was a weird tomato bug
by: Anonymous

My daughter found one scaling our chicken fence...chickens don't seem interested...Got pics...we live in the middle of the manistee national forest(michingan)

Working its way to Gravity Hill
by: Anonymous

I found one on the road by my paps and grammies house on Gravity Hill Road in Bedford Pa

Caterpillar
by: Sfw

Found one on my front door. Very pretty! Cyn.,Ky.

found one
by: Anonymous

Jessica
Just found one on a backpack!!!!!!! Westminster MD

Found Cedropia catepillar
by: Justyn

Found one at Satterwhite Point, Kerr Lake in NC. It was surviving on a tree that was in the water from all the rain we have been having. It was rescued and photographed and brought to me to identify being that I am a biology teacher and MUST know every living creature in the world. HA! I am so glad to find out it is a Robin Moth catepillar. I wish I could watch the transformation. It is a beautiful creature and will be a beautiful moth. July 18, 2013

Amazing caterpillar
by: Anonymous

i was at my son's home in Toronto today and we noticed one of these caterpillar's crawling up the exterior trim at the front door of his house.... It was the biggest caterpillar I have ever seen. My son immediately put his ruler up to it and measured it and then took a picture. It measured 3 3/4 inches in length.... beautiful colours....amazing creature!!!

Cecropia caterpillar
by: Moni

Amazing
So glad you and your son got to see one of these...they are amazingly large a beautiful caterpillars...as are the moths they turn into.

green catapiller/orange/yellow/blue spikees
by: Anonymous

Found this my yard in Bradford County, Pennsylvania...never seen one before.

Creepy Little Thing
by: The Campbells

We just found one on the side of our house. North Alabama...

found one in Upstate New York
by: Tonya

We found one today! I live in upstate NY in the fingerlakes region. We took lots of pics and put a ruler up to it. 4 inches long! Very inteesting I said it looked like it came from "Alice in wonderland" lol

caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I just found one on my back stairs in western ny. Beautifil!

2 caterpillars
by: Tony

Just discovered 2 Cecropia Moth Caterpillars feeding on branch tips (leaves) inches apart, of a Manitoba Maple (BoxElder) tree in SouthCentral Manitoba, Canada. They're huge

colchester vt
by: trevor

never seen such a large caterpillar in northern vt.nice to find out what it was.my son and I are enjoying labor day and I stopped him from stepping on it he's only seven and it scared him

Cecropia Moth Caterpillar
by: terri

my kids found one in tree across the street and came and got me...big 4in ling and about the size of a quarter round... very scary but very interesting. Never seen one in 43 years but i will never forget it now either. Allentown, PA

Nova Scotia
by: Anonymous

Found one of these(never seen before) caterpillars, climbing the hot rocks into my fire pit at the cottage in Nova Scotia, Canada. Tried to rescue him with a stick but feared I injured him when he lay still on the ground. Sprinkled him with the hose and he began to crawl off. Amazing creature.

Found one N.W. Louisiana
by: Anonymous

Found one in northwest Louisiana yesterday, It is on a pecan tree, it is still there today , has not moved more than an inch or two.

Cecropia moth caterpillar
by: Anonymous

We just spotted these caterpillars in our lilac tree. The tree is LOADED with them! We live in Le Mars, Iowa....myhusband just went around the outside of the tree and counted over 15 of them! They are beutiful!

cecropia caterpillar
by: Moni

Le Mars
Congratulations!!!
Can't imagine having so many in one bush! How lucky you are to see and have them! The moths next spring will be beautiful to see also!!

So, nice you are watching out for them!

Good to know they are here in Iowa!!


by: Brian

found one on my garage door step, let him be overnight the next day it was covered in a brown cocoon (aug.18th) is this a sign of an early winter? I live in NIAGARA FALLS NY

Wow
by: Anonymous

Found one of these guys in endwell ny. ..bout 3 inch long...and fat...seems they are getting around what a interesting catapillar. ...creeped me out at first

found in MN
by: Anonymous

I was amazed by the size of a caterpillar that was in my apple tree. I just had to find out what kind of critter it is. What interesting color and features it has. Wow

owen co ky
by: Anonymous

saw one this morning on our front porch in Owen Co Ky, beautiful. We also have never seen one of these caterpillars before.

Found in TN too
by: Anonymous

Found this guy on my Granny Smith Apple tree. I live in Nashville TN. They darn near took off all the leaves. Didn't find any others on my ofther apple trees.

Cecropia caterpillar
by: Anonymous

Just found one of the amazing caterpillars I live in myerstown PA.They are very amazing never seen one like it before.

Found one in Michigan
by: Anonymous

My daughter just found one of these in our yard in the thumb of Michigan. I have never seen one before.

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Brown caterpillar Maryland (Curve-lined Owlet moth caterpillar)

by Bonnie
(BelAir, MD)

Brown two-inch caterpillar with stick-like projections and silk emissions

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Curve-lined Owlet moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Bonnie
The neat insect is a Curve-lined Owlet moth caterpillar. It is said the caterpillar should have its own name!
This is an uncommon insect to find. Usually it is found around woodlands and forest edges. Most of these insects are found in the southern half of the US.

The caterpillar feeds on greenbriers.

The adult starts flying in May thru August from an overwintering pupa.

Thanks for sharing such a neat find!



Brown caterpillar maryland
by: Anonymous

We just found one of these caterpillars...in Concord, MA. Sounds like this is out of its normal range. I found it crawling on the seat of my car, so I have no idea what plant it came from. We don't have any greenbrier that I know of.


CURVE-LINED OWLET MOTH CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

Anonymous
Interesting that you found it in the car...had you parked in in a wooded area?
They have been found in NH so tho it is not commonly found they are in your area.
Great find for you!!

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White caterpillar with black spots and yellow stripes (Speyer's cucullia caterpillar)

by Jean
(Kentucky)

Not very big, was found not moving in Kentucky

there's another small caterpillar above it too, black with stripes

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Speyer's cucullia caterpillar
by: Moni

Jean
The white and black caterpillar is Speyer's cucullia. It is not that common to see.

The larva feed on fleabane, horseweed, and other asters. They are usually seen from August thru October with 2-3 broods in MO so perhaps in KY you will also have a couple of generations(broods).

The adult moth is rather plain brown uninteresting moth compared to the beautiful caterpillar.

They are found in northeastern North America.

Is this caterpillar poisonous?
by: Isaac

My brother and I found this caterpillar and we would like know if it was poisonous or not.

Speyer's cucullia caterpillar
by: Moni

Isaac
This caterpillar is not poisonous to handle.

Yellow striped armyworm
by: Moni

Jean
Had not responded about the other caterpillar in your photo. It is very hard to see to know for sure what it is.

My best guess is that it is a yellow-striped armyworm...they are highly variable in color as you see in the link below...but it could also be one of several other cutworms.

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Big Green Caterpillar (Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar)

by Barbara
(Pittsburgh, PA)

Bright green, smooth, soft on the hand. Distinct false eyes. Found crawling on my newspaper on the lawn near some trees.

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Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Barbara
The photo is of a spicebush swallowtail caterpillar that is ready to pupate.

This pupa or chrysalis will overwinter at this time of year.

The first three instars (larva stages) resemble bird droppings. The last two instars are green with large eye-spots - the two largest on third thoracic segment have black "pupils", two smaller ones on first abdominal segment do not. The larva changes color to orange or yellow just prior to pupating.

This caterpillar feeds on spicebush, sassafras trees, Red, Swamp and Silk Bays; perhaps prickly ash , Tulip tree , Sweetbay , and Camphor.
Adult butterflies feed on nectar from Japanese honeysuckle, jewelweed, thistles, milkweed, azalea, dogbane, lantana, mimosa, and sweet pepperbush.

Adult swallowtails are large, black with some blue spots. They are found in deciduous woodlands, fields, roadsides, yards, pine barrens, wooded swamps, and parks

Caterpillars live in shelters of folded-over leaves and come out to feed at night.

Read more: http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/yellow-caterpillar-spicebush-swallowtail-caterpillar-comments.html#ixzz0u5tTirFc

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brown caterpillar covered in bark (Geometer moth caterpillar)

by DeAnna
(Arizona)

My Aunt and I found this at Lake Ontario - It looks just like a stick. 3-inch long, caterpillar?, looks like its covered in bark

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Geometer moth caterpillar
by: Moni

DeAnna
This caterpillar is one of the Geometridae family probably Ennominae subfamily of caterpillars.

There are many that look like twigs. It is amazing to see them stand out from a tree at an angle and stay so still that they do look like twigs!

This is the family that are also called the inch worms as they walk by arching their backs.

These larvae feed on various leaves of woody trees and shrubs. A few are economically important pests of fruit or forest trees.

The adult moths are attracted to lights at night.


caterpillar
by: daniel

one of my mom friends give it to me .he found it in park lake....my sister said " it looks like a stick' said my sister. now me caterpillar lives in a nice home with leaves and two sticks. the end

my stick
by: kayleigh

my cousins and i found this catapillar and at first we were scared to touch it. I was the first to touch it and i got to keep it and then i stared to wonder what kind of catapillar it was. The catapillar was in my grandparents back yard on our new apple tree we planted last year. We all agree that it looks like a stick!!Now it my pet for the summer!

GEOMETER MOTH CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

kayleigh
These caterpillars may not be easy to rear to moths. Please read what you need to feed and care for this insect before you keep it as a pet. Like all pets it needs proper food, water and housing.
Thanks

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Caterpillar (Echo Moth)

by Sam Davis
(Englewood, FL)

Reddish fuzzy caterpillar about 1"-1 1/2" long with yellow body bands bordered with black. Very quick moving when touched.

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Echo Moth
by: Moni

Sam
Your caterpillar will turn into the Echo moth. This is one of the tiger moths.

This caterpillar is found in the southern states in thickets, scrubby plant areas and open habitats
According to Wagner's caterpillar book - they feed on coontie, cabbage palmetto, crotons, lupie, oaks, persimmon and other woody plants.


echo caterpillar infestation
by: James MS Johnson

Over run by these awful creatures this spring, they have killed the coonties that we have been growing for over 20 years, any explanations for their severe infestation in Englewood, (West Charlotte Cty.) this year ???

Echo caterpillar
by: Moni

James
The only reason I can think of was that you had the best plant for the moth to lay eggs on in the area...so it got hit hard. You can knock the caterpillars off or into soapy water bucket to reduce the number on your plant. My guess is your coontie will come back OK.

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Fizzy Caterpiller (Crescent butterfly)

by Barbara Hall
(Iron Station, NC )

This caterpiller was found in NC at Pilot Mountain - can you identify the butterfly?

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Crescent butterfly
by: Moni

Barbara
The caterpillar is one of the brushfoot caterpillars in the family Nymphalidae. Without more angles of this caterpillar it is hard to know for sure which species. The closest suggestion is one of the crescent butterflies...perhaps the pearl or phaon crescent.

Overrun in Louisiana
by: Katyrina H.

I have these crawling all over my yard, dropping from my oak trees. They have a scarlet belly, and when touched will sting, causing burning and itching for several hours. They like to group up on various objects to shed their current skin/spikes. I found they like to eat dying oak leaves that have fallen to the ground. I live in Pineville, Louisiana.

Stinging caterpillar
by: Moni

Katyrina
From your description, you do not have this caterpillar...it does not sting. However, you do have a buck moth caterpillar in your yard. They are known to sting if handled.

Buck moth caterpillars do feed on oak leaves and can be a pest in the south due to the stinging. The spines on the Buck moth caterpillar are hollow and hold a poisonous fluid that can cause itching, burning to even nausea in some folks.

They do stay in clusters in the younger stages, then spread out in the later caterpillar stages. They shed their skin as they grow from one size larvae to the next. This usually happens about 3-5 times. As they mature in late June they will pupate in the soil.

Please be careful around Buck moth caterpillars!

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Pale green caterpillar (Definite Tussock moth (Orgyia definita)

by MaryLee Wells
(Cookeville, TN, USA)

Pale green caterpillar

Pale green caterpillar

On June 3rd, I found this caterpillar on English ivy growing densely along a brick wall. It is roughly 1 " long. I live in Cookeville, TN (38506), which is between Nashville and Knoxville. It is pale yellowish green, and has four distinctive yellow bumps along it's back.

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I think I've ID'd it
by: MaryLee

I've consulted an entomologist friend of mine, Dr. Brian Eisenback at Wm. Jennings Bryan College, and he thinks this fuzzy pale green caterpillar is a Definite Tussock moth (Orgyia definita). They like to eat maple, oak, elm, ash, willow, box elder, apple and cherry leaves. This caterpillar possibly fell from the maple tree near the English Ivy. I released it, but now I realize I should have kept it in a jar to see if it would make a cocoon.

Pale green sighting
by: Anonymous

I saw one of these today, June 29, crawling back and forth along a picnic table in Charlotte, NC.

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Cocoon Worm (Household casebearer)

by Lok
(Desert hot springs,Ca USA)

Cocoon Worm?  I used Windows photo Gallery to view the photo and it can be zoomed in for good detail. Thanks!

Cocoon Worm? I used Windows photo Gallery to view the photo and it can be zoomed in for good detail. Thanks!

It looks like a worm dragging its cocoon behind it. My mother found them coming into the house in March 2010. It looks like silk on the cocoon part covered with sand. My mother has lived in the desert since she was a child and has never seen one before. She lives in Desert hot springs Ca. The worm part drags itself around with its six legs on the front. It is sitting on a paper towel and they range from 1/4 to 1/2 inches long. She brought 3 of them for me to see. It moves somewhat like an inch worm. Thank you very much. Lok

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Household casebearer
by: Moni

Lok,
Your critter is a household casebearer, tho use to be called Plaster bagworm.

Interesting how this moth larva lives in a case that is open at each end so it can feed or move from either end Most bagworms or case bearers use just one end.

The larva eats old spider webs primarily tho will eat wool fibers and such.

This site says they can show up in any type of building...it is just looking for some yummy cob webs!?!




Finally!
by: Anonymous

I live in Hawaii, and have been seeing these strange critters crawling through my house lately. I finally know what they are!

us too?!
by: Anonymous

i think we have found a couple of these now here in WI too! thanks for helping us id them!

The must like it wet and warm
by: Anonymous

When I lived in Samoa these were all over the building I resided. I'd often watch them inch up the walls with their case in tow. I'm now in Hawaii, noticed one, and decided to look it up. I don't recall seeing the adult moths, however.

Household casebearer
by: Moni

Anonymous
Here are photos of the adult moths...rather small at about 1 cm or 3/8 inches long. Would be easy to miss - especially if they are outside. Moths tend to fly at night so that might be another reason you did not see them.

Curious
by: Anonymous

Wow! So thats what it is called. Been seeing a lot of these worms in our house here in the Philippines. Thank you.

They're in Taiwan too
by: K

I live in Northern Taiwan and they're here too. I've seen a few of them over the years, mostly on walls. Today I spotted one on the edge of the bathtub, with the worm out. Never seen that before, so I guess this was the time I had to find out what it is. I've always been curious what lives inside!

In Sydney too
by: Anonymous

I have them here in Sydney, Australia. Am so glad I finally found out what they are and persisted with the Google search!

household casebearer
by: Moni

In Sydney,
Glad you kept looking too!

Many insects are the same or at least similar all over the world :-)

Not so pleasant
by: Anonymous

Normally, I'm the "live and let live" sort. But last year I started noticing a lot holes in my cotton clothing when the moths were present. Vacuuming them off the ceiling during daylight and disposing of the worms whenever I saw them seemed to solve the problem.

household casebearer
by: Moni

Not so Pleasant
These are known to eat wool so they would also eat other natural products like cotton.

There are several moths that will feed on natural products. This one may or may not be the culprit.

Did you see this worm or was it not in a case like this?

Glad to know you found a way to keep your cottons from being eaten!!

Will it kill trees
by: Anonymous

I have a tree full ,I think It's destroying my tree what can I do ? I looks like thousands, I live in the city, Chicago

Household casebearer
by: Moni

Chicago
As mentioned before...these larvae only eat old spider webs and occasionally some wool fabric...not tree foliage.

Please send in a photo of your pest so we can properly identify your pest problem.

i saw one of these
by: Anonymous

I live in eastern nc. I saw this critter moving, looked like a piece of pine cone. there are two pine trees in my yard. It's September 2, 2014. Isn't it late in the year for this? I'm glad I found out what it was. what will it turn into?

Shannon

So that's what they are
by: Tony

We've recently moved to the Philippines and have found a few of these odd things in our house.
What I can't figure is how they get into sinks & onto tables when they seem almost incapable of moving on a flat surface.

Good explanation NEW
by: Suraj

I live in Mumbai, they are found here too. The explanation was good since I was wondering what bring these moths to our house and what do they feed on (Webs). Another question, how do they move and enter to a small room or basement of a house?

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Cinnamon Fern Pest Caterpillar (Sawfly larva)

by Ken Thomas
(Ludlow, Mass., USA)

Questionable Caterpillar Image

Questionable Caterpillar Image

This is the corrected image of a previous mistaken attachment of a pest caterpillar discription submission consuming leaves from a cinnamon fern in the spring of this year 2010.
All caterpillars disappear by early summer leaving just the consumed fern leaves visible.
The head of this pest is partially black and does not match any image I have looked at of the "Eastern Tent Caterpillar" which I have been told these caterpillars my be and there are no Eastern Tent Caterpillar nests nearby.

As Always
Ken Thomas

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Sawfly larva
by: Moni

Ken
Your caterpillar is the larva of a sawfly. There are several sawfly larva that have been found feeding on ferns. However, no one to date has reared them to get a photo of the adult to know which is which.

So, to know which sawfly you have, it would have to be reared to an adult which could then be ID'ed....especially if the specimen was in the hands of someone who knows their sawfly adults.

Great photo!

Sawfly Larva Identification
by: Ken Thomas

Moni:

Thank you for the identification of the image of the Sawfly Larva that I submitted.

As a Nature Photographer having a source of insect identification is extremely helpful when normal sources of identification (insect guides available or going to the web with a general discription) does not produce results because without a proper image ID a particular image cannot be used for publication.

Your name and this web site will be mentioned to other photographers I know and mentioned when images identifyed are submitted for publication.

As Always

Ken Tnomas

Sawfly larva
by: Moni

Ken
Thanks for using the site and the Insect ID...your photographer friends can send in pics also for ID.

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caterpillar with purple underbelly (Catocala underwing moth caterpillar)

by Melissa
( fayetteville, NC)

I have searched all over the web and can not seem to find the identification of this caterpillar. I kept it and it is now in a cocoon. It has been like this for about 2 weeks but it moves the back half of its cocoon so I know its still alive. The picture is one that I found on another site but they couldn't identify it either. Any help would be awsome and greatly appreciated

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Moth Caterpillar
by: Moni

Melissa
Not sure which caterpillar you have. There are thousands of brownish gray caterpillars and most photos do not show the underbelly. Do you have a photo of the top or side view?
Since you have the pupa hopefully it will turn into the moth soon and you can take a photo of the moth and send it to us for a positive ID.
Once the moth has fully emerged(give it a stick to climb on to fill out its wings) then while it is quiet try to get a photo...if it is too active you can put it in the fridge for a few minutes to slow it down to get the picture.

Unknown caterpillar needs identification
by: Teacher

I found the same one in NW CT. It is gray with black markings. It has a purple underbelly. It was very active when touched. It wriggled all over. it then covered itself with a leaf and made a very slim white crysalis around it. Can't identify it either. I thought it was a butterfly because it didn't have any hair on its body.

caterpillar
by: Anonymous

i have heard some things about these caterpillars being called indian caters but ive also heard of them being called dogwood caterpillars but they come out as moths

Catocala underwing moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Melissa
Think I have found your caterpillar!! It is one of the Catocala underwing moth caterpillars.

This genus of moth caterpillars feed on deciduous trees and are found through out most of North America. They are not a pest.

The moths are not as large as the big silk moths but are larger than most that we see.
Let us know if this fits your caterpillar?

caterpillar
by: becky (sc)

i have the same caterpiller and it's in a jar . i thought it was a very iregular breed of caterpillar and i was wondering what to put in the jar for it.I am going to keep it until the end of spring break and show him to my 7th grade science teacher.

Catocala caterpillar
by: Moni

Becky
Since you are from SC there should be some leaves on the deciduous trees by now. Try putting a few tree leaves in from various trees to see which one it likes the most. Then you can keep feeding it that type of leaf.

If you found it on a particular tree, then that is the tree leaves to feed it.

I have one too!!
by: Amy from MD!!

HI there everyone! Thanks for helping figure out what this thing was. It was on my back step and almost got smooshed but i saved him :-) He is funny if you poke him (gently) he wiggles all over the place LOL I am thinking of keeping him if the hubby will let me hehe i just need to know what they eat?? So i am going to do some more research! Thanks again guys!!! P.S. I am in Southern Maryland :-)

Weird under wing moth caterpillar
by: Chloe

Found a weird underwing moth caterpillar black with red spots. New species, or hard to find?

underwing moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Chloe
If it is a different caterpillar, then you will have to send in a photo for us to help you know what it is. Doubt it is a new species...tho may be new to this website.

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black caterpillar with light stripe (Eastern tent caterpillar)

by Wynter Brown
(Crystal Lake, Illinois USA)

Found in northern illinois, light line down middle of back, orange on either side and then black/dark brown. Likely a moth.
Very common here.

Many thanks!

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Tent Caterpillar
by: Lin

He/she looks like a tent caterpillar.

Eastern tent caterpillar
by: Moni

Wynter
Lin is correct it is a tent caterpillar.
Your photo is of the Eastern tent caterpillar.
The larvae feed on leaves of many trees and shrubs especially those of the rose family such as apple, cherry, and crabapple.

Females deposit egg masses on twigs where they overwinter.

Tents appear in early spring, and caterpillars are seen until early summer at which time the caterpillars head off on their own and pupate. Moths fly from late May to June.





Would have been helpful
by: Anonymous

When me and my little brother were kids we had found one of these caterpillars and this site would have been a lot helpful then : /

eastern tent caterpillar
by: Moni

Would have Been
Well only in the last ten years has the internet and digital cameras provided such bountiful information!
We are quite fortunate to get to experience so much info at our fingertips! :)

Are all tent catapillars fuzzy?
by: Pj

I found one very similar to these in the bloom of a zinnia but it's not fuzzy. I know they change in their life stages so was just wondering if ig could be a tent catapillar in a different stage of life. He's not moving much. Not sure he's much alive.

So helpful!
by: Amanda from Southern Illinois

For the second year in a row, my children and I have found what seems to be a bit of an infestation of these guys In the backyard headed toward our porch! I've been searching to figure out what kind these were so I could make sure they weren't poisonous so this has been been very helpful! We recently got rid of a crabapple tree that has been here for at least 20 years so I guess they're just searching for a new food source!

eastern tent caterpillar
by: Moni

PJ
Without a photo we can not be sure what your caterpillar is, but if it does not have some hairs over its body it is probably not an eastern tent caterpillar. There are so many worms with stripes that to guess would not be very helpful.
Send us a photo and we will see if we can help.

eastern tent caterpillar
by: Moni

Amanda from S IL
The moths lay the eggs the fall to overwinter. The caterpillars hatch the next spring. So, not sure where the eggs were laid that the caterpillars are moving from, but yes they would have liked that crabapple.

If the caterpillars are large...inch to inch and half then they may be ready to pupate, so they are looking for a place to spin their cocoon. They sometimes attach to the leaves of the tree where they are feeding, but since there are so many in the "tent" when it is time to pupate some may travel a bit to find that location.

awful
by: Jenn

We are plagued with them every year with their creepy tents set up in low bushes. When they emerge by the hundreds, they devour every single leaf nearby. They are quite evasive here in Ontario. The remedy is to burn their tent with a bbq lighter to kill them all before they become moths and spread their eggs everywhere. Very destructive.

thank you
by: Karen

My son (5) and I have been searching for a couple weeks trying to figure out what these things were. We were hoping for a pretty butterfly and not pesky moths 😕 I'm not nearly as upset that the dog and cats keep killing them now. They are EVERYWHERE! Our back porch seems to be the worm meeting location of the year and the water dish is worm suicide central. At least 20 drown per day and I will no longer look for a solution to the problem.
Any tips for if I capture one to watch the transformation with my son? How much food do I need to provide? Do I need to mist the leaves ever so often to provide water?

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Large green caterpillar (Cecropia moth caterpillar)

by Bill Boerner
(Otego, NY USA)

for size  comparison

for size comparison

for size  comparison head shot from side and below

About 4 inchs long and 3/4 to 7/8 inches thick with yellow dots and 2 sets of orange dots seen on a "sand cherry" bush 8-4-10 Otego, NY

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Cecropia moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Bill
Your large green caterpillar is a Cecropia moth caterpillar.

It is one of the large silkworm moths in the Saturniidae family. Below is a website to see the moth that your caterpillar turns into.

The caterpillars feed on foliage of many trees and shrubs including maple, oak, cherry, poplar, ash, beech, apple, boxelder, dogwood, gooseberry, elm, and willow.

The moths do not feed, but survive on the energy accumulated by the caterpillar.

This insect overwinters as a pupa, so when the caterpillar is finished eating it forms a silky cocoon that is attached to twigs ...then the moth emerges the next spring.


Read more: http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/green-catapiller-orangeyellowblue-spikes-cecropia-moth-caterpillar-comments.html#ixzz0wcWWDMjo

They love blueberry bushes
by: Goldie

I found 5 very healthy specimens this evening enjoying my blueberry leaves...They looked artificil; almost like a child's toy; they were so colorful and large!

Cecropia moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Goldie
Good to know...hope I get them on my blueberry bushes! They are such neat caterpillars!

If you feel they are doing too much damage to your blueberries, you can move them to one of the other food plants - "The caterpillars feed on foliage of many trees and shrubs including maple, oak, cherry, poplar, ash, beech, apple, boxelder, dogwood, gooseberry, elm, and willow. " Not sure they would do as well since they began eating the blueberries but they would be OK.

Cool that you found them!

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five inch green Catepillar (Achemon Sphinx caterpillar)

by Louise
(Hollister Ca. US)

Very large green Catepillar

Very large green Catepillar

Green Catepillar 4-5 inches found eating my grape vine leaves in California US. Do you know what the name or kind it is?
In picture the black ball is it's poop.

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Achemon Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Louise
This is the Achemon Sphinx caterpillar. The caterpillars can be green or reddish brown.

They are found over most of the US and Mexico.

The larvae do feed on grape leaves, Virginia creeper, and Ampelopsis (porcelain vine) plants. The caterpillars lose their tails in the last stage before it turns into a pupa. They pupate in the soil.

The adults feed on nectar from flowers. The adults can be seen at dusk feeding...looking kind of like hummingbirds.

They ate my pepper plants
by: KG

I had three eating my pepper plants they killed one. How do I get rid of them!!! Charlotte, NC

Achemon sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

KG
If a hornworm is eating your peppers it is NOT an Achemon...they eat plants related to grapes. You probably have either the tobacco or tomato hornworm.
To control them it is best just to pick off and squash or drop in warm soapy water.

Large green caterpiller
by: Anonymous

We just found one similar to this guy. I don't have any veggie plants growing outside and I'm not sure what it's feeding on. This guy is gross!

My mother found one in her garden.
by: Anonymous

My mother found two of them in her garden eating leaves on her grape vines. Up in Saskatchewan Canada.

Stripped leaves on my grape vines.
by: Anonymous

I found about a dozen of the caterpillars on my one lone grape vine. The leaves were stripped. This was the first time I've ever seen them here in southern Manitoba, Canada.

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green black caterpillar (White-lined Sphinx caterpillar)

by Ben Larson
(Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA)

Dozens of these were found by myself while in our pasture. Not sure what they were feeding on, has a long serrated leaf and tiny pink flowers at the end. Most plants were totally stripped of leaves. We are located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. What type are these???

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White-lined Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Ben
Your photo is of a white-lined sphinx moth caterpillar. Caterpillars of this moth do vary greatly in color, but like most sphinx caterpillars they have a 'horn' or tail on the rear end.

The moths do look a little like hummingbirds as they fly from flower to flower gathering nectar. The straw like mouthparts are long tubes for sucking up nectar...it is fun to see them do so. This particular sphinx moth does fly during the day as well as at night.

While the moths do feed on nectar the caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants like purslane, primrose, and plants in the rose family. They are not considered a pest of any crop.
This insect is found all over North America, Central America as well as Eurasia and Africa.




got one too
by: Anonymous

I found one just the other day and brought it to my science teacher she loved it

'Hummingbird Moth'
by: Cathy

Thanks for the information. We found one and brought into the house. Not sure what it was, but my daughters loved it. We have had the moths for years and often wondered what type they were. Our girls call them 'hummingbird moths'.

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orange-black-red spots caterpillar (Western Tussock Moth caterpillar)

by Pamela
(Sunshine Coast BC)

Please help me identify this strange little caterpillar i have never seen before or since. On the handrail of my back porch, i thought it a twig at first, then it moved. I live on the West Coast of BC at the edge of the forest.
Thanks for any help you can give.

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Western Tussock Moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Pamela,
Your photo is of the Western Tussock Moth caterpillar, family Erebidae.
According to the USDA Forest Service, this caterpiller feeds on snowbrush ceaonthus, bitterbush, willows, serviceberry, wild rose, desert peach and bitterberry. It is considered and economic pest of fruit trees noted on apple, apricot, and oranges in California. It is found in the northwest US and British Columbia.
The moth male is mottled gray-brown while the female is wingless, fuzzy and very light colored.
The eggs overwinter then hatch from March to June with the caterpillars seen generally from June on.
There are many parasites and predators of this insect which generally keep the populations under control.

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Yellow caterpillar with black and blue bands (Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer)

by Lynne
(Las Cruces, NM, USA)

I have never seen these before and they are having fun eating up the leaves on my grape vines. It is yellow with two blue bands, each surrounded by black bands and then more black bands. The caterpillar is a little fuzzy. Sorry the picture isn't great, I took it with my phone. I live in Las Cruces, NM.

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Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer
by: Moni

Lynne
This rather 'pretty' caterpillar is a pest of grapes.
These caterpillars can defoliate grapevines, tho they also eat plants in the Virginia creeper (or called 5 leaf ivy) family.


Since it is a moth caterpillar it can be controlled with Bt, if you can not just pick them all off and put them in a bucket of soapy water.


Thanks!
by: Anonymous

That is definitely the little culprit and we have seen the moth on the grapes as well. Obviously this group decided to move from California to New Mexico.

Thanks again.

Western Grapeleaf Skeltonizer
by: Anonymous

Harrisina metallica is quite a defoliator I live in San Diego and recently discovered an absolute horde of this species decimating the next door neighbors grape vines. Within the span of about 3-5 days well over a thousand have scoured the grape leaves, with leaves having up to 70 or more in organized clusters.

The vast majority are approximately 5mm in length and around 10% are 1cm.

In terms of attractiveness of adult phase, this species certainly is no Blue Morpho but regardless, the fecundity of this species is remarkable. Certainly capable of destroying an entire vineyard

Backyard worries El Paso, Texas
by: Anonymous

Currently the virginia creeper I have in the backyard is infested with the western grape leaf skeletonizer and I am concerned if this caterpillar will consume everything I have in the yard. Will this caterpillar eat just the virginia creeper and move on or destroy all my plants in their path

Green valley
by: Anonymous

Found one of these up here in green valley,California in the Los Angeles national forest

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grey and brown caterpillar with a white stripe on it's back (Eastern Tent Caterpillar)

by Kim
(Ohio, USA)

The caterpillar we found is grey and brown with a white stripe down it's back, with small round black and white spots, and light brown "hairs" near the bottom of it. It is about an inch and an a half long. We found it munching on the leaves of my rose bush. We live in Ohio. My kids are very excited about finding out what type it is. Thank you. :)

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Eastern Tent Caterpillar
by: Moni

Kim
Your photo is of the Eastern tent caterpillar.
The larvae feed on leaves of many trees and shrubs especially those of the rose family such as apple, cherry, and crabapple.
Females deposit egg masses on twigs where they overwinter.

Tents appear in early spring, and caterpillars are seen until early summer at which time the caterpillars head off on their own and pupate. Moths fly from late May to June.

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Snake Head looking caterpillar (Gaudy sphinx moth caterpillar)

by TANIA GARCIA
(HIALEAH, FLORIDA USA)

SCARY 5

SCARY 5" CATERPILLAR

Scary looking caterpillar. It's head had circles to look like huge eyes. Caterpillar was 4 to 5" long and 1 inch thick. When touched with a stick swung back to bite. On the upper side of it's back side, it had a small rattling tail. This caterpillar is responsible for eating up my plants,even after I sprayed them with pesticides. I have never seen such a large caterpillar. Looked like a snake head with its body cut off. Really weird looking.

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white, yellow and blue striped caterpillar (Monarch butterfly caterpillar)

by Brenda Curtis
(Griswold, CT. USA)

my son found this caterpillar that is white, yellow and blue striped caterpillar.

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white, yellow and blue striped caterpillar
by: Anonymous

Looks like a Monarch butterfly caterpillar to me.


cat,
by: Anonymous

i believe it will become a monarch butter fly

monarch butterfly
by: Brenda

Thank you. I had a friend of mine help me also and he said the same thing. when it spins into a cocoon how long does it stay in the cocoon before becoming a monarch butterfly?

Monarch butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Brenda
Your caterpillar is a monarch. Not sure by your comment if you have kept it or not.

To answer your question - A caterpillar will crawl away from the host milkweed plant to pupate. It crawls to another plant to form a chrysalis or pupa case. Once it has pupated it takes about 10-14 days to emerge into an adult. They overwinter as butterflies

Most monarchs in North America migrate to Mexico to overwinter, however since you are in CT, your monarchs may migrate to Florida.

Monarch butterflies feed on nectar of many flowers. The butterflies lay eggs only on milkweed (Asclepias spp.) plants as that is the only food for their larvae. There is a chemical in milkweeds that prevent the caterpillars and butterflies from being eaten. Any insect that feeds on milkweeds are not palatable food for birds, frogs or other insects.

Note - a butterfly pupa is called a chrysalis while a moth pupa is called a cocoon. Both can be called pupa (pupae is plural).

Monarch Butterflies
by: Alisha

The Monarch Butterflies are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. In the North America they make massive southward migrations starting in the August until the first frost. One of the most famous and the beloved of all the California missions is Mission San Juan Capistrano. The lovely little town of the San Juan Capistrano hosts flocks of the swallows, which return every year at about the same time in the spring to fanfare and celebration by the whole town.

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5 inch brown caterpillar (Imperial moth caterpillar)

by Alan
(Cedar Rapids, Ia. US)

Big fella, nearly 5 inches, rather sluggish. Found in Cedar Rapids, Ia Aug. 2 in flower bed. Tricorner ovipositor and lush hair. Could not get a shot or good look at the face. The broom he's on is a standard broom. What the heck does this thing grow into?

Comments for 5 inch brown caterpillar (Imperial moth caterpillar)

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Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Alan
Your photo is of the Imperial moth caterpillar.
These are found in eastern US, Ontario and Quebec.
This is one of the silkmoth (Saturniidae family) caterpillars...most get very large ... rather spectacular in color and size!

This caterpillar feeds on leaves of Bald Cypress, basswood, birch, cedar, elm, hickory, Honeylocust, maple, oak, pine, Sassafras, Sweetgum, sycamore, walnut.

Since you found it in a flower bed and tho it is a little early in the season, it may be heading to find a place in the soil to pupate for the winter.

Adult moths do not feed and do come to lights at night.


Being from IA I am jealous...I have seen the adult moths but not the caterpillar. Great find!


huge brown catterpillar with yellow nubs
by: Anonymous

I think this is what I found in my yard today. I live in Louisiana, I have two big oak trees in my front yard. Are they harmful?

Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
No they are not harmful....a little prickly to pick up but neat to see and have in your yard!

Beautiful and scary looking
by: kat

I am from West Des Moines, Iowa. I was walking down the path at Racoon River Park and I saw this one crawling across the path. This bee was trying to sting him but he didn't seem to be bothered. I moved him to the side of the path he was heading too. I had never seen one before either. He was very slow. I did turn him over and he has a big yellow mouth. Same color as the spikes on his rearend. He was very very big. I had never seen anything like it.

Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Kat
Thanks for moving him off the trail! It might be that the 'bee' was a parasitic wasp or fly that lays eggs on these caterpillars.
I live in SE Iowa and last week saw two of these caterpillars...one with parasitic wasp eggs on it the other was OK. I kept the parasitized one to see what has laid eggs on it.
They are moving to get ready to pupate...wonder if they know we might have an early winter?

imperial moth caterpillar
by: April Starbird

I picked this caterpillar up yesterday without realizing it was there, and was I surprised! It was on the underside of some fallen leaves, and seemed to be attached to them. It's big, soft, and spectacular looking - and I'd never seen one before. After a little study and contemplation, I put it back in a similar place, but (for its own safety) farther from the path - and went back to gardening in the rain. I was so delighted to find all those beautiful caterpillar photos, so that I could find out what I'd held in my hand. This happened in Maryland, just east of Washington, DC, on 27 September 2011.

Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

April Starbird
glad you got to see one and that you were so kind to put it back where it could continue it's life cycle.
Nature is so cool!

my cat found one of these guys today
by: Anonymous

My cat found one of these guys today here near Reading Pennsylvania. Large brown catepillar with green dots along the bottom sides. Googled large brown caterpillar came here. Imperial moth! Pretty cool

Imperial caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
Hope the cat did not hurt it!
At this time of year and the coloration says that it was probably moving to find a place in the soil to pupate and live for the winter. You can place it out under a tree or in a mulched area of loose soil where it can pupate.
Hopefully you will get to see the moth next spring!

OFallon IL Imperial Moth Caterpillar
by: Chris B

I found this fella parting the grass in our yard. He is huge and a bit scary looking and I had to look him up. This little guy is so cool I just had to share it with my family. He's pretty harry and I like the horns on his head. time to let this little guy go back where I found him!!! :) thanks for letting me know what kind of caterpillar he is!

Imperial moth
by: Dee

Found this big guy today. August in Florida. Got pics, pretty SCARRY!crawling on the porch towards the house. Moved him off the porch into the garden.

Labor day found caterpillar
by: Anonymous

Barto Pa. Mowing grass and ran over but did not hurt it. Going to let it go tomorrow over in the woods. It is very large.
Last year found a Hickory Horn devil caterpillar around the same time.
Live in wooded area with pond and creek.

5 inch brown caterpillar
by: Liz

Hi
Went looking for what the heck this was and found your website. I live north of Ottawa, Ontario.
I can't believe the size of this guy. He is at least 3 inches long. He was on white netting over my parsley. Here we are in September. Will he be overwintering soon?

Brown Caterpillar
by: Brenda Testa

I found one crawling across my walkway this morning. We put him in a bowl until we can get back home to take a picture.

Big brown caterpillar
by: Anonymous

My dogs found one of these under my wood pile on our back deck. My husband took it back to the end of our property on the other side of the fence so the dogs can't get to it.

Imperal moth caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I found one in south Carolina on my grandparents farm near the hay bales so I got on here to see what the heck it was. It was 4 inches long.

Huge Caterpillar
by: Anonymous

My class of four year olds stumbled across one of these near a tree in Louisville, Kentucky. We had never seen such a huge Caterpillar. Very freaky.

imperial moth caterpillar
by: Anonymous

Found one crawling on the ground today. I live in
Clermont County near Cincinnati, Ohio. We have lots of sugar maple tress in our yard.

Kids loved finding it!
by: Rachel groves

We found one in our back yard here in Florida! The kids were in Awww of its size. We put it back in the woods! Away from harm! Grow big guy grow!!!

Imperial Find!
by: FloydFamilyFind

So thankful for this site! My daughter ran in yelling, "Come see this Huge caterpillar! It was feisty at first, but soon calmed and began crawling back off. I'm glad to know he isn't a species of tomato worm!!

Found one
by: Kevin

Found one crawling across the driveway. Big and sluggish heading for some leaf cover of which we have plenty. This one was in The Woodlands, TX north of Houston. We have most of the trees mentioned for food so it will have a blast in our yard.

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huge green caterpillar (Cecropia moth caterpillar)

by sarah
(upstate new york farm)

about 4-5 inches fully extended..light bright green...diameter of a nickle..4 orange round raised spots with black spots on back behind the head..2 smaller ones that are yellow with black spots behind the orange.yellow and light blue raised spot down back and sides resemble pin heads.

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Cecropia moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Sarah
Your large green caterpillar is a Cecropia moth caterpillar.

It is one of the large silkworm moths in the Saturniidae family. Below is a website to see the moth that your caterpillar turns into.

The caterpillars feed on foliage of many trees and shrubs including maple, oak, cherry, poplar, ash, beech, apple, boxelder, dogwood, gooseberry, elm, and willow. The moths do not feed, but survive on the energy accumulated by the caterpillar.

This insect overwinters as a pupa, so when the caterpillar is finished eating it forms a silky cocoon that is attached to twigs ...then the moth emerges the next spring.

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brown caterpillar from Georgia (Manduca sp hornworm)

by Laurie
(Canton, Ga, USA)

Trying to show its underside

I found this caterpillar on my back deck. At first I thought it was something a cat left behind but then it started crawling. It is very large as you can see compared to a penny.

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Manduca sp hornworm
by: Moni

Laurie
This caterpillar is a one of the Sphinx moth family probably Manduca rustica the Rustic sphinx. When caterpillars are about to pupate they get dark and look a little different in color and form than one feeding on a plant...so it is hard to know for sure.

So, it is probably ready to pupate. They burrow into soil to pupate.

These caterpillars are found in the southern US thru Mexico and into tropical America. They feed on deciduous trees, shrubs and vines such as Bignonia and Fringe-tree.

okinawa
by: Anonymous

Just found this identical bug in tropical Japan.

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Black spiny caterpillar (Nymphalidae butterfly caterpillar)

by Kathy Benton
(Northeast Georgia)

Found on side of our house in North East Georgia.

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Nymphalidae butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Kathy
The structures of the spines of the caterpillar tell me it is in the brushfooted butterfly family - Nymphalidae, but without a more detailed photo I can not ID it further.
Caterpillars feed on a variety of plants.

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large orange catepillar (Pandorus Sphinx caterpillar)

This catepillar was found on a grapevine in a research vineyard in Vermont. Please help me identify it.

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Pandorus Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Vermont
This is a Pandorus Sphinx caterpillar. They come in several colors(someone else sent in a photo of a green one) of not only orange and green but reddish and brownish.

Sphinx larva in general are called the horntail or hornworm larva since they have a tail.The last instar or molted stage of this caterpillar loses its tale and has an eye spot in its place.

This is a beautiful and spectacular larva...just found my first Pandorus larva last week also. They do eat grape leaves, porcelain vine (Ampelopsis sp) as well as Virginia creeper.

When you see these large larva moving, they are on their way to find a place to pupate. They overwinter as pupa.

The adult moths are gorgeous and greenish also. They have a long proboscis or feeding tube for gathering nectar from flowers. They look a little like small hummingbirds feeding at night.

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orange caterpillar with spike on rear end (Sphinx moth caterpillar)

by Magen
(Round Rock, TX)

This little guy is on the outside brick wall of the house. It has a spike on the rear end and it is light orange in color. About an inch 1/2 long.

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Sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Magen
Your photo is of a sphinx caterpillar which turns into a moth. Since the caterpillars look a little different at each stage as they grow it is hard to know which one you have.

If you had seen it eating on a plant that would also help with an even better identification to genus or species.

Larvae (caterpillars) feed both day and night on many kinds of woody and herbaceous plants depending on species.

They usually pupate in soil, though some form loose cocoons among leaf litter.

Most moths of this family (Sphingidae) fly at night looking a little like hummingbirds, coming to lights and found feeding on tubular flowers.

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black and cream caterpillar (Yellow-striped armyworm)

by Jeannie Cummings
(Prosperity, WV)

I found this one on my mom's Topsy Turvey tomato plant and brought it home. It seems to be eating the tomato leaves I've furnished it from my garden. It's about 1 1/2 inches long, and is smooth, with two upper yellow stripes and two lower brown ones.

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Yellow-striped armyworm
by: Moni

Jeannie
Your caterpillar is a Yellow-striped armyworm. It turns into a moth.

It is found in eastern states of the US to KS, southeastern Canada, and across the southern US states.

Caterpillars feed on many plants especially those in the vegetable garden as well as alfalfa, corn, cotton, wheat and weeds such as morning glory, and jimsonweed. It is a garden pest.

If you just find a few you can step on them or put them in a container of soapy water.

This insect overwinters as a pupa in the soil.
The adult moth emerges in early April thru May. There can be 3-4 generations per year...more in southern states.

The life cycle takes 4-6 weeks.

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Big green worm ( Cecropia moth caterpillar)

by Kim Holley
(Kenova, WV, USA)

He measures about 5 inches long when fully extended. He is an apple green color with orange, yellow, and blue extrusions. Those extrusions have black spikes. he was found crawling up the brick on the side of my house in southern West Virginia.

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Cecropia moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Kim
Your large green caterpillar is a Cecropia moth caterpillar.

It is one of the large silkworm moths in the Saturniidae family.

The caterpillars feed on foliage of many trees and shrubs including maple, oak, cherry, poplar, ash, beech, apple, boxelder, dogwood, gooseberry, elm, and willow.

The moths do not feed, but survive on the energy accumulated by the caterpillar.

This insect overwinters as a pupa, so when the caterpillar is finished eating it forms a silky cocoon that is attached to twigs ...then the moth emerges the next spring.

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Large Green leaf-eating caterpillar (Sphinx moth caterpillar)

by Marcy
(Austin, Texas)

4 1/2 to 5 inches long and fat with a tail on the end.

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Sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Marcy
Your caterpillar is one of the hornworms in the Sphingidae family.
It would help to know what plant the caterpillar was feeding on, as many of the sphingid caterpillars look similar and there are many variations of each species.
Because of the dark spots along the side of your caterpillar, it may be a pink-spotted hawkmoth caterpillar. These are found in southern US.

Let us know what it was feeding on and perhaps we can make a closer guess to the actual caterpillar.

Sphinx moth caterpillar feeding
by: Marcy

It was feeding heavily on a tomatillo plant. It died several days later :(

Sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Marcy
If it was feeding on tomatillo then it was probably the tomato hornworm...their coloration does vary.

Did you notice white pods on its back before it died? It probably had a parasite eating it from the inside that killed it.

likes Tomato plants
by: Micki

This thing is mean & looks like it has a stinger on it's butt. It & a friend almost ate a 4 foot high tomato plant. It devored the top half of almost all it's leaves. I sprayed them & the plant with soap & water. They appear to be dying now. If the soap dosen't work any sugestions?

Tomato hornworm
by: Moni

Micki
If the soap spray does not work on your hornworms, then just pick them off and drop in a bucket of warm soapy water :-)
The "stinger" is a tail and is a great identifying part of the Sphinx family of caterpillars.

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Brown Fuzzy Caterpillar (Tiger Moth Caterpillar)

by Gina
(Noblesville, IN USA)

We found this fuzzy guy in the grass near our deck. It spent the day in a screened bug cage, and was released later that day. My son wanted to keep it, but I was afraid we couldn't keep it alive. This caterpillar was about an inch and a half or two inches long. We live in central Indiana.

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Tiger Moth Caterpillar
by: Moni

Gina
It is either the salt marsh caterpillar or the Virginian Tiger Moth caterpillar. They both look very similar - if the face is mostly black or with black markings then it is the salt marsh caterpillar. If there are no black markings then it is the Virginian tiger moth caterpillar.

Both are tiger moth caterpillars. These are found all around fields, meadows, grasslands or weedy places. The caterpillars feed on mostly weedy plants. They can be found on garden and field crops but do not cause economic problems and are not considered a pest.

They can be reared but it does take time and careful watching to keep fresh food for the caterpillar until it is ready to pupate. Then keeping the pupa alive overwinter is tricky.

Here is what I have written for others wanting to try to rear caterpillars in case you want to try.

- The rearing of caterpillars is a challenge. Mother Nature does it best. And just so you know ahead of time, when you find a caterpillar in the 'wild', sometimes they have been parasitized....meaning another insect like a fly or wasp has laid eggs inside the caterpillar. So when you try to rear the caterpillar, it dies from the eggs inside it - not something you can predict.


With all that said the basics of rearing any insect is to feed it what it wants to eat...fresh (never sprayed with insecticides) food continually.

Then, when the caterpillar stops eating...they will typically go searching for a place to pupate. It is best to provide layers of barely damp paper towels for the caterpillar to pupate in between. Then this needs to be kept someplace where the temperatures are much like outside. Not sure if just setting the container in the garage for the winter is OK or if the pupa will freeze. Some folks put them in the refrigerator then put a drop of water on the paper towel once a month thru the winter until the trees start to put out foliage. Then you would bring the pupa outside to let it emerge with the normal weather. Putting a stick in for the moth to climb up on.
This is a brief description and may not be enough for rearing but gives you an idea.

Please do a lot of internet research.

Had a roommate in college from Noblesville, so I know right where you are!

Same caterpillar
by: Anonymous

Also spotted in Westport, WA. Outside the deck at the beach.

Found this on my porch.
by: Anonymous

I live in Nebraska and found this caterpillar sitting on the concrete by my back porch. My yard is indeed very, very tall. He has a tan face and a few long, blonde hairs.

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Mystery Caterpillar (Tetrio Caterpillar)

by Will Meeks
(Siguatepeque, Honduras)

It is thick and about 5 inches long. Black with green stripes, orangish head and a horn on the tail. We live in Honduras, which is in North America btw.

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Tetrio Caterpillar
by: Moni

Will
Your photo is of the Tetrio Caterpillar.

This larva is in the Sphingidae family of moths. Caterpillars of this family are ID'ed by the tail on the end of the caterpillar.

This larva feeds on plants in the dogbane family and can defoliate frangipani trees. When the larva are mature they pupate in the soil. Adult moths feed on nectar.

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Blue and Gray Caterpillar (Tent Caterpillar)

by Chelsea
(Redding, CA)

I found this guy on a sidewalk, and he's over an inch long. He has a reddish-brown stripe down his blue-gray back with white accents and hair tufts. Any ideas on what he might eat? Many thanks for your time to consider my query.

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Blue and Gray Caterpillar
by: Mylillies

he eats tree leafs and can get Quite out if hand

Tent caterpillar
by: Moni

Chelsea
Your photo is of a tent caterpillar.
Larvae feed on leaves of various broadleaf trees and shrubs (varies according to species). Most feed on maple an oak. Yours looks like the Pacific tent caterpillar but the photo is not clear enough to know for sure. As the name suggests they do form tents in trees and live inside the tents feeding on the foliage of the tree.
There is one generation per year; and it overwinters as an egg.they are found near deciduous woodlands, edges, roadsides, treed yards and gardens. The adults are nocturnal and come to lights at night.

Pacific tent caterpillar
by: Moni

Chelsea
The second photo is great. You have a Pacific tent caterpillar. Most known to feed on oak trees.
Since you found a lone caterpillar, that means that the tent was getting old and full of trash and the caterpillars were getting large enough to find a place to pupate. So yours should pupate soon. Once it does you can keep the pupa between layers of barely moist paper towels. Then when the moth emerges you need to put a stick or something in the container for the moth to climb up on to fill the wings out.
Send us a photo of the moth...if you get one. Some times the caterpillars get parasitized and so they never make to be moths.
Good luck with your pet.

Thanks for the info, Moni
by: Chelsea

He has indeed spun a coccoon, so I'll be sure to keep him between the paper towels. I've heard that tent moths are terrible for agriculture and have been known to completely deleaf trees, so I've been told to keep the moth contained in his cage and not to release him back outside. Any tips for keeping the pet moth? Thanks again for your help, without you I would have no idea that these guys were that terrible of a pest...

tent caterpillar
by: Anonymous

i actually find these every year at a campsite that i go to every year.

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Gray Caterpillar (Noctuid moth caterpillar)

by Ryan
(New Orleans)

Grayish color with a tan stripe along both sides and black triangles that run along the back of the caterpillar. It was shuffling across the driveway which has no plants within 30 feet of it, just grass.

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Noctuid moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Ryan
The photo is of one of the Noctuid moth caterpillars. As distinctive as it looks, many of the cutworms and armyworm caterpillars look very similar.
This worm looks like both the yellow striped armyworm and the large yellow underwing, besides like the tobacco cutworm.
Larvae in this family feed on a wide variety of plants such as alfalfa, asparagus, bean, beet, cabbage, clover, corn, cotton, cucumber, grape, grass, jimsonweed, morning glory, onion, pea, peach, peanut, pokeweed, sweet potato, tobacco, tomato, turnip, wheat, watermelon, and wild onion.
They live over most of North America.

Found in December
by: Anonymous

I found one of these crawling on my bedroom floor in Late December in TN

Cutworm caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
Did you bring in some plants from outside? The moths do fly late in the year and lay eggs on plants for the caterpillars to feed on. If you brought one of the plants inside then you may have brought the caterpillar in also.

Susan
by: Susan

I have one of these growing in a jar. I live near New Orleans.

Noctuid moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Susan
When it turns into a moth, send us a photo of the moth and perhaps we can tell you which cutworm caterpillar you found.

my lettuce
by: small time gardener

Coastal south carolina~ these buggers have been feasting on my lettuce thru the night. I have to inspect my plants daily as they like to hide under the fallen fall leaves. They ate their way thru an entire pan of salad bowl in 2 days! My lettuce in on a railing on my deck and they keep finding their way into my pans. I have been pulling them out and just throwing them. Are they remembering where their buffet is?

Cutworm caterpillars
by: Moni

Small Time Gardener
If you are continuing to find them, it is probably because the moth laid a bunch of eggs in your lettuce and as the caterpillars hatch and feed, you find them.
The ones you threw over the railing probably got eaten or found something else to eat. The new ones have been hiding under leaves or in between leaves and as they get bigger you find them.
Best thing to do is keep looking and throw them over or into a pan of warm soapy water.
In the future, you could put a thin cloth over the planter box at night (when the moths are out and laying eggs) so the moth can not lay eggs on the lettuce. It might still help prevent any more egg-laying if the moths are still flying.

My Caterpillar
by: The Animal Lover

I found a caterpillar outside my door. So I picked it up and then I looked it up.

My caterpillar
by: Anonymous

Is this type of caterpillar poisonous and can it sting you

Mint eater
by: Anonymous

I found one of these on my peppermint plants early this morning. I was wondering if it was bad for my plant. I hope not.

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Furry White Caterpillar (Tiger moth caterpillar)

by Rachel Ham
(Pasadena TX)

I Found him about 6 days ago...now he is turning an orangish color...

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Tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Rachel
Your photo is of a tiger moth caterpillar....probably the salt marsh moth caterpillar, but several fuzzy caterpillars look similar that until they turn into adults it is hard to know for sure. Also, they are highly variable in color from blond to brown to black. The face of the salt marsh caterpillar is mostly black, but that does not show in your photo.
The larvae feed on a wide variety of plants from weeds to some crops and some trees. They are not considered a pest of the garden.

caterpiller
by: genaabeena

we found one and we named it lilly

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glossy caterpiller-like bug (Giant swallowtail butterfly caterpillar)

by gerald
(Killeen, TX, U.S.A.)

There's about a dozen of these on my citrus tree. They're all different sizes; the one in the picture is about 1inch long. the rest range from 1/8" to 1". They eat fast and came out of nowhere - I didn't notice them yesterday and they eat from the top of the left. I probably need full grown mantis' to help with these; help! Seems as though they're eating only newest leaves; last years leaves are ok for now.

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Giant swallowtail butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Gerald
You have Giant swallowtail butterfly caterpillars so please do not kill them!
Tho they may eat a little of your citrus trees they are NOT pests.
Here are some images of more caterpillars and the adult butterfly...absolutely gorgeous! And large!
The caterpillars feed on leaves of Citrus species, prickly ash, and hop trees. Butterflies feed on nectar of flowers.
Nice camouflage...looking like bird droppings!

Giant swallowtail butterfly caterpillars
by: Gerald

I took a few to a local garden nursery; they said the same thing, not to kill them. I didn't but they're gone - I think the birds got them. I donno where else they could have gone.

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