fat green caterpillar (Achemon Sphinx Moth Caterpillar.)

by Linda Schmidt
(Rancho Cucamonga, CA USA)

light green, about 2" long, with green specks and diagonal white/green stripes along sides. Large head. Pointed rump, no stinger. Looks almost a variegated light yellow to dark green from head to tail. Found on a Cabernet Sauvignon grapevine


Moni says it's an Achemon Sphinx Moth Caterpillar.

So glad you figured it out! Was pretty sure that was what it was, but the photo was not close up enough to be positive.

The moth is really neat also tho not quite a pretty as most butterflies.

The Pandorus moth caterpillar does look similar and feeds on the same plants. The moth is quite colorful.

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Posting to my own picture
by: Linda Schmidt

I found on this very site what I have here. Of course it was after I posted so sorry for the duplicate "bug". This is a Achemon Sphinx Moth Caterpillar. I was hoping it would be a butterfly but alas no.

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Viper headed hissing caterpillar (Abbott's sphinx moth caterpillar )

by Trevor Wright
(Cranberry, PA 16319)

4" Viper headed hissing larva/caterpillar? Found in N. E. Pa on trunk of Red Maple tree. Hisses and strikes like snake when provoked, fake eyes on top, reddish legs... seem to remember 3 or four sets on front... then none til the back.

Moni says
Your neat colored caterpillar is the Abbott's sphinx caterpillar.


These are found in eastern and central North America in and around woodlands that have wild grapevines. The larvae feed on grape foliage and related species of plants.

This cool caterpillar starts out green with a horn or tail on the back-end. Middle stage (instar) caterpillars are whitish to blue-green with dark faint cross-stripes and the horn is replaced by an orange raised knob.

The last instars may be either brown with a "wood-grain" coloration or brown with ten green saddles on the back. In these late instars like yours, the knob resembles an eye.

Such a cool find...thanks for sharing!

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brown caterpillar with black triangles (Yellow-striped armyworm)

by Iris
(Charleston, SC)

Brown caterpillar with black triangles and white lines

Brown caterpillar with black triangles and white lines

This is a simple looking caterpillar, but found it in our backyard in Charleston SC. Could you please tell us what it is?

Moni says
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 and this year in most areas it was even earlier!

There can be 3-4 generations per year...more in southern states. The life cycle takes 4-6 weeks.

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Ate my pepper leaves!!
by: Catie

Found this fat pest after my spider was blown away from a storm. Ate almost EVERY leaf on my poor pepper plant! First time I've seen one! GRRRR! Hope a bird sees it in the yard...

armyworm
by: Anonymous

Found this eating my rosemary plant in SE Texas in mid- July! YUCK!

Found in St. Louis County 8/16
by: Anonymous

Found this nestled low in the grass while pulling chickweed from the freshly cut front side lawn. As we have a vegetable garden in the back, I am compelled to be territorial and arrest it's genealogical cycle.... I was hoping it would become a pretty, non-pest, butterfly. :-( Thanks for the good identification and information.

So cool
by: Anonymous

I've been into insects for quite some time and I was cutting the grass and I went inside cause of the heat and came out and found one of these little guys sitting right next to the mower.

Found!
by: Anonymous

Found one in the middle of my garden here in Northeast CO. Contemplating its future now.

Found on houseplants in my NYC apartment!
by: Rich H

Noticed something was eating the houseplants! Particularly the spider plants. Large caterpillar droppings. Searched through all the plants and found this guy hiding on a rex begonia. How did he get in here, on the 10th floor?? Couldn't bare to squash him so I took him to the park.

Mid November Find
by: Anonymous

Rescued one of these little guys mid November, It's safe and alive (Still a caterpillar, close to cocooning i think) He was clear when he found him, now its back to its normal brown,

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orange and black on fig tree (Ruddy Daggerwing caterpillar)

by Laura
(Fort Lauderdale FL)

black and orange caterpillar

black and orange caterpillar

Is this a Ruddy Dagger caterpillar. I found it on my Brown turkey fig tree in Fort Lauderdale fl.

Moni saysYes, it is the ruddy daggerwing caterpillar which is a butterfly caterpillar.

Not to be confused with the ruddy dagger caterpillar which turns into a moth :-)

This insect is found mostly in FL tho is occasionally found in southern TX and other southern tips of the US...mostly a tropical insect.

Adults feed on nectar from a variety of plants while the larvae do feed on fig as you found out.

They are usually found on the native FL fig called the strangler fig (Ficus aurea). This fig is in 'hardwood hammock' lowland forests of FL.

The larvae and butterfly are really spectacular in color!

Thanks for sharing such an good photo and interesting insect with us!!

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green and white furry striped caterpillar

by Antoinette
(Rockaway, NJ, USA)

view 1

view 1

view 1 view 2

This critter was HUGE (at least 3 inches long), had white furry stripes over it's green body, yellow wings and what looks like brown horns, plus yellow-ish looking antennae. I found it in the woods in Rockaway Township, NJ. It was crawling on the ground amidst some leaves (which is why I found it - I actually HEARD the leaves rustling and looked to see what was there). It then proceeded to climb up some greenery. I've lived in northern NJ my entire 42 years of life and have never seen anything like this!


Moni says Believe you have a photo of a Luna moth that has just emerged from its cocoon!!

Cocoons are hidden in leaf litter in the winter. If you watched the moth for long you would see it start pumping fluids from its body into the wings until they are fully expanded. Around 4" wide!
Hopefully this moth was not in trouble and was able to expand it's wings.


These are beautiful moths! They are in the Silk moth family (Saturniidae) The larvae become large green caterpillars, over 2" long. The caterpillars feed on many trees including birch, black gum, hickory, persimmon, sweet gum and walnut.

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Thank you
by: Antoinette

That's amazing, thank you! I had no idea what it was. I wish I had been able to watch it transform. Unfortunately I wasn't able to, as I had my dogs with me and they weren't nearly as interested in standing still as I was!

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brown caterpillar with eyes (Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar)

Yellow eyes, brown tree bark like body with copper colored head.

Moni says This is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar

It's ready to pupate. I will assume it is the eastern, but since you did not say where you were from, it could also be the western tiger swallowtail(west of the Rockies) or the Canadian(Canada and very northern US states).

The eastern tiger swallowtail is found east of the Rockies. The adults feed on nectar of flowers while the caterpillars feed on leaves of black cherry, Magnolia, and tulip tree.

If you are west of the rockies then the name would change...so let us know where you saw this caterpillar.
Thanks

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Swallowtail Butterfly larva
by: Diane

This is the larva of an Eastern Swallowtail Butterfly about to form its chrysalis. For most of their caterpillar days they are green, but as they prepare for their wonderful transformation, they turn brown in color.

Swallowtail
by: Sandi Walters

Thank you. I can see the "eyes" are going to be replicated on the beautiful wings to come.

Seen in Grants, NM
by: CL

I saw this caterpillar in the lawn of my backyard (Grants, NM)... probably fell from some lilac or similar bushes nearby.

MN caterpillar
by: Anonymous

Saw thing in my yard today and was fascinated by it. Assumed it was a cocoon of some type. Very cool

Brown caterpillar
by: Val

I saw it in Northern Nevada. It was inside my house sitting on my dog water bowl.

Found it
by: Anonymous

Found on in Onalaska Wisconsin

seen
by: Eldon

Have seen 3 or 4 the last few days eastern Utah

Trigger
by: Anonymous

Found one in centreal il

bug lover
by: Alene Starkey

I found the tiger caterpillar in Ft Collins, CO
crawling on our house. Never have seen one like it. I put it in a jar with holes in led to take to my grandchildren to watch.

What should they give it to eat. I don't want to
kill it.

Thank you!
Alen

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Black wooly caterpillar with red bands on skin

by Rhonda
(San Antonio, Texas)

this is the big guy

this is the big guy

this is the big guy largest to smallest in my containers today

I inquired here about some black caterpillars that are eating my dahlias a couple of weeks ago, but was told that by my description and the time of year, that they could not be the Tiger Moth Caterpillar, as they should have pupated by now. I wonder if the large amounts of rainfall we've had this year would mess with their regular cycles?

The same type of caterpillars are still active in my containers and munching away at my dahlias as I type here today.

The caterpillars range in size from about an inch long to four inches long, have black bristly fuzz all over their bodies, and have red bands on their skin that are visible when they curl into a ball.

I measured the largest one, it was curled up, but I circled it gently with a tape measure and it was 4" tip to tail. The hairs that appear white on the close-up are black - it's a reflection of the flash.

Thank you, Moni, for helping me ID these little guys!

Sincerely,

Rhonda

Moni says it's the giant leopard moth caterpillar. Thanks for sending in the photo.

The larvae feed on a great variety of broad-leaved plants, including banana, cabbage, cherry, dandelion, maple, orange, sunflower, violet, and willow. And guess we can add dahlias to that list :).

One of my guides says, Spends the winter as a caterpillar (Caterpillars of Eastern Forests(1) says it overwinters August to May - presumably this varies by location). One generation per year in the north; sometimes two generations in the south." So perhaps since you have more than one generation that far south that is why you have the various sizes.

These are found thru out eastern North America. The adults are white moths with small black dots and rings covering the wings. Moths are sometimes found at lights at night.

Thanks for not killing them. They should pupate soon!.. I hope for your dahlias sake!

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Thank you!!
by: Rhonda

Thanks for your input and the ID, Moni! They are spending time in the soil today...burrowing in vs. eating...is this how they pupate? I'm a little afraid to water my plants now as I don't want to drown them!

Giant leopard moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Rhonda
Go ahead and water your plants as normal. In the pupa stage insects can handle a lot of heat or cold - dry or wet...that particular stage of growth is made to withstand a lot of fluctuations.

Thanks for cking and glad they are not eating your dahlias any more :)

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Striped and Banded Caterpillar

by JASMIN
(Belen, NM, USA)

babies

babies

babies side view top view

I found these on my Sunflower leaves. The big one was along the leaf spine. I found another big one inside a green pepper. There was a scar on the pepper and a hole that I thought was made from the outside but I guess it was made from the inside.

As you can see they start out black with yellow stripes and orange mouths, then turn gray with yellow and orange stripes over yellow bands with side "eye" spots.

Moni says Your caterpillars are yellow-striped armyworms.

The black dot on the side near the front is the give-away ID.

These are found thru out all eastern and southern North America. The caterpillars feed on many plants including weeds, veggies, field crops and fruits.

This insect overwinters as a pupa in the soil, then emerges in spring from April thru May. The adult female lays eggs on foliage, trees, even buildings!

There are 3-4 generations per year depending on where you live. (since you are in MN then probably only 3 generations)

The caterpillar can be a pest in the garden. If you have too many to pick off and smash or put in warm soapy water to get rid of them, then Bacillus thurengensis can be used for control... if it is labeled for the crop and the area where you live. Read and check the product label.

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Wrong state, same advice
by: Anonymous

She was from New Mexico BUT we have had these in Minnesota. Infestation is the word used when you say ARMYWORM. Not much less pleasant when you say TENT CATERPILLER!

And yes, nasty either way.

Thanks
by: JASMIN

Thanks Moni. I was hoping for a butterfly... Do they serve any useful purpose? I think I have a photo of the moth. The one I saw was large and impressive. It was sitting on my reed fencing. It had it's wings partly out so it formed a triangle. They had a very bold pattern with tan stripes, diagonally from body to tip, on a dark brown, white striped background with lighter brown edges. The body has white markings on light brown. I'd love to post a photo, but I don't see a way to include it in this comment.

Organic Farming
by: San Fran Kid

I'm sure there are better ways and more humane ways than stomping on a caterpillar . Drowning them in soapy water sounds horrible. Their is plenty of info on organic farming . And how to coexist with these beings. All beings deserve love and respect.
Moni if you can't recommend a better less inhumane to get rid of the caterpillars then don't contribute these kinds of ideas.as for me if I find work I give it to my box turtle . They are good at keeping that stuff under control.
Just speaking my views

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large green caterpillar (Hickory horned devil caterpillar)

by chris wilson
(grove city,pa)

never seen in my whole life in pa

never seen in my whole life in pa

never seen in my whole life in pa please help find out what he eats so we can feed him

he has spikes all over shell and appears to be horns or antnenas on head. he is green and atleast 7inches long he has a pincher for a tail and i have never seen anything like this in western pa. please let us know what he is and what he eats. he appears to be dying and we dont want that so help us please!

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Dehydrating?
by: Rob

I'd guess, it's only a guess - i'm no expert - that the insect needs water so putting some on a tissue or a leaf of grass near it might help.

Hickory horned devil caterpillar
by: Moni

Chris
Your photo is of the hickory horned devil. It is the larva of the Royal Walnut moth, also called the Regal moth.

The larvae feed on leaves of ash, burning bush, butternut, cotton, gum, hickory, lilac, pecan, persimmon, sumac, sycamore, and walnut. The larva pupate in the soil. It was probably getting ready to head to a pupation site when you found it.

Tho the caterpillar looks dangerous, it is harmless.

Adult moths of this family do not feed.

I do not encourage you to keep it...it is best to let it back outside in a safe place with leaf litter and soil - so it can pupate as Nature allows. It overwinters as a pupa and they are HARD to overwinter.

Should you want to try to rear it - here is what I have written about rearing caterpillars......

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.
This caterpillar stage lasts about 35 days. And then overwinters in pupa stage...so you would not see the moth until next spring.


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. Since yours has pupated in soil you could gently put it between paper towels as described below or cover the container with a paper towel or cloth (so no predators get in to destroy the pupa).

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 they are outside. 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 the container 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.


Read more here

Hickory Horned Devil in KY
by: KDT

I found a hickory horned devil at our campsite at John James Audubon State Park in Henderson, KY 7/28/11. I am 54 years old and have never seen one of these before, however after investigating on the net I am surprised because I have seen many Regal Moths throughout my life. Very interesting creature! I have a really good picture I took if you would like to see it, however I would need to know how to send it.

HICKORY HORNED DEVIL CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

KDT
We have a couple pics of this caterpillar on this site.
Thanks for the offer though.

You might see if a local naturalist would like the photo.

Wow
by: Aubrey

If this is real wow it is huge but if it is not then What ever!! I want a caterpillar that big!!!!

Caterpillar finding
by: Anonymous

I found one like that in eastern pa before. He was huge! Like yours, 6-7 inches long, green, with spikes on body, and the horn. I was running barefoot when I saw it. I almost stepped on it, that would of hurt.

Found one yesterday
by: Bessemer Bud

Found one in Bessemer, Pa yesterday. Very interesting caterpillar. Ours was found on a peach tree limb of new growth. Slow moving and a pleasure to see another of gods creatures.

The Hickory Horned Devil
by: Tony from Bessemer AL.

We found one eating on our roses. Plan to reliese IT as soon as my son(10yo) comes in from school.
Appreciate this site. As we have a large yard and see lots of butterflies.
Blessings from Bamma - ROLL TIDE

Hickory Horned Devel Caterpillar
by: LisaKick

Found one in garage heading towards my laundry room. I've never seen one in my life. Scared me to death.

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Black and Yellow spotted caterpillar (Sawfly larvae)

by Brenda
(Paul Smiths, New York, United States)

Black head, black and yellow spotted body, legs on front portion of body, I suppose the rest are little nubs? Theyre every where in Paul Smiths New York.

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Sawfly larvae
by: Moni

Brenda
Without a side view and more information about size, what plants it was on or near, and a clearer photo, it is a guess...but think it maybe a sawfly larvae. A wild guess that it is probably the introduced pine sawfly species... Diprion similis.
You said it had nubs besides the normal 6 legs and sawfly larvae do have those and look similar to a caterpillar but is really a sawfly.

Sawflies are actual related to bees and wasps.

If it is the introduced pine sawfly, they are found in the northeastern parts of North America. They can be a serious pest that stunts rather than kills its host. They feed on pine trees, esp young trees...found in Christmas tree plantings.
There are natural enemies and diseases so outbreaks are not that often seen.

Adults come out as early as April to lay eggs. There can be 2 generations per year. They overwinter in cocoons in litter under the trees.

Sawflies adults do not sting or bite.

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Cream caterpillar black spots red head (Red-headed pine sawfly larvae)

by Kelly
(Glen Burnie, MD)

Hello, I live in central MD and when we bought this home three years ago, the landscaping came with it. I don't know half of what shrubs and plants I have but I noticed today these caterpillars all over fir-like shrubs I have. Two of the shrubs seem completely dead, no needles and one has hundreds of these guys clinging to the bark. It is early September here and this is the first time I'm seeing them. One picture shows a close up of the critter, the second shows what is happening to the shrubs. I am also noticing holes in many leaves of the plants I have, some of my mums are dying and the day lilies aren't doing too well either. Not sure if I should leave these critters to do their thing, or do they have to go and if so how.....they are all over. Thanks Moni so much!

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Red-headed pine sawfly larvae
by: Moni

Kelly
The insect you show is the red-headed pine sawfly larvae. The adult sawfly is actually related to bees and wasps not flies nor butterflies as the caterpillar looking larvae might suggest.

There are several species of sawflies that feed on pines. This species eat the foliage of pine, cedar or fir plants. Younger larvae eat the outer edges of pine needles leaving behind the central tissue, which wilts and dies, forming what looks like dried straw. This makes sawfly damage distinctive. Older larvae eat the entire needle. One year of damage will not kill the plant but if they come every year it will eventually cause the plant to die or not grow well.

For control there are some natural enemies and a few diseases. If you have just a few plants with larvae, you can pick off the larvae and drop in a bucket of warm soapy water or put the pan or bucket under a branch and knock them into the container. If that does not get enough of them, you can spray with horticultural oil labeled for sawflies, or spray with insecticidal soap. Read and follow label directions.

The larvae feed together in large groups for about 4 weeks then drop to the ground and overwinter in cocoons. In the north there is one generation per year, in the south there are 2-3.

These are not the problem with your mums nor causing the holes in your other plants. Grasshoppers and other foliage feeding critters are probably feeding on those other plants.
The other dead evergreens may be due to problems from last winter or other things like disease, wet feet...hard to know without knowing all about the conditions. We can deal with insects you see here...only.

Thank you
by: Kelly

Thank you Moni. I will be looking for an oil to deal with these as there are so many. I appreciate your help.

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Gray fuzzy caterpillar (Tolype caterpillar)

by Ali
(Greenville, North Carolina)

Insect was about 3 inches in length. Camouflaged really went into the grey cement, his belly was orange with white dots and little black legs. Sort of looked like he had a lion's mane. Is it poisonous?

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Tolype caterpillar
by: Moni

Ali
Your caterpillar is one of the ten tolype caterpillar species. The most commonly found in NC are the large tolype or small tolype caterpillars.
They are hard to tell apart.

This insect is found thru out North America on various trees. Depending on species they may feed on deciduous (the large tolype) or coniferous trees.
The adult is a really cool looking moth...very fuzzy and tho mostly grayish are colorful. Adults do come to lights at night.

There are up to 3 generations per year in the south with only one in the north.

Tho they have a spiky body these caterpillars are not known to cause a rash or be poisonous.


Gray Fuzzy Catepillar
by: Linda

I found one on the arm of my lawn chair on a 95 degree day in east central Kansas. Its looks really intrigued me. I used Google Reverse Image Search to find this site and have it identified. Thank you!

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caterpillar, orange white spots no hair, (Pandorus sphinx caterpillar)

by L. Rainford
(Pickering, Ontario, Canada)

This caterpillar was spotted munching grape leaves, on a trail in Pickering, Ontario,Canada during the month of September. Only one individual was spotted.
Any idea who this is?
I spend lots of time outdoors, but this is my first time ever seeing a caterpillar like this. Perhaps this is a new addition to the local ecosystem?
Thank you Moni for everything you do! I've been learning new things thanks to you :)

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Pandorus sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

L. Rainford
Your caterpillar is the pandorus sphinx caterpillar.

The moths in the sphinx (Sphingidae) family all have a fighter jet like shape.

These are found in North America basically east of the Rockies.

These larvae are quite spectacular. They can be reddish orange like you found or green. The caterpillars do eat grape leaves, porcelain vine (Ampelopsis sp) as well as Virginia creeper.

The adult moths 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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Yellow Stinging Caterpillar (Io moth caterpillar)

by Giles
(Pembroke Pines, FL, USA)

I brushed by one of the plants in my yard and got stung by some catepillars that made my skin feel like it was on fire. The main body of the catepillars is green with narrow yellow stripes running the length of the body, with an orange stripe closer to the underneath of it. The body is covered with rows of yellow spikes that looked almost like coral at close magnification. They were around 1" in length.

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Io moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Giles
Your caterpillar is the Io moth
caterpillar, one member of the silk moth family - Saturniidae.

They feed on a wide variety of plants including birches, clover, corn, elms, maples, oaks, willows, roses, cotton, hibiscus, azaleas, palms, and even some grasses.

They are not a pest.

The caterpillars stay in clusters early on, but will separate as they mature.

They leave the host plant to form a cocoon, usually in leaf litter. There may be up to four generations in the south, but usually just one in the north.

These insects are found in eastern North America west to AZ.

Caution: The caterpillars may "sting" if handled...or brushed like you learned.

The larger the caterpillar the more intense the stinging sensation caused by the spines. Glad you checked on this one.

Thank You
by: SharkTT

Thank You Moni for taking the time to respond and identify the caterpillar that I found in my yard. I had been concerned by the effect the sting had on me. Initially an intense burning sensation, followed by redness in the area, and then inflammation. Anti itch ointment was applied quickly, but it still took over a week for the affected area to clear up. It is such a beautiful creature though, especially when you look at it close up.

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light green smooth caterpillar, yellow spots ringed witj black (White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar)

by Heather
(Lincoln, NE)

Found in Lincoln NE. Fat, and about 3 in. long. My daughters and I like to watch them develop. It was found near a maple tree.

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White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Heather
Your caterpillar is a white-lined sphinx moth larvae. The caterpillar colors can vary a lot...some have more black coloration, some have stripes, but the white dots you see on this one are on all variations.

These caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants including spurge, plants in the evening primrose family as well as the rose family. They are not a pest, just a colorful cool insect. So glad your girls enjoy watching them!

The moths are commonly seen at dusk feeding on nectar of petunias or other flowers with tubes. They resemble hummingbirds and are sometimes called hummingbird moths.

There are 2 generations per year. These are found all over North America.

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Bright green larva - friend or foe? (Hitched arches caterpillar)

by Karen Elliott
(Stratford, Ontario, Canada )

Friend or Foe?

Friend or Foe?

I found this creature a couple of inches below the surface of a perennial garden near Stratford, Ontario. Close by are succulents (hens and chicks) and roses. The soil is quite loose with lots of mulch. Because I couldn't identify it, I left it in the garden. I'm curious though, as I garden a lot and don't remember seeing one like this before.

Comments for Bright green larva - friend or foe? (Hitched arches caterpillar)

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Hitched arches caterpillar
by: Moni

Karen
Your caterpillar is a hitched arches caterpillar. It turns into an interesting mottled grayish moth.

They are not a pest...there are never very many in an area to cause any damage.

These caterpillars feed on a wide range of plants in brushy areas, clearings, wood edges, etc. They eat leaves of plants like dandelion, goldenrod, plantain, treefoil, alfalfa, clover and wood plants like birch, elm, honeysuckle and willow.

There are two generations per year. They are really a pretty caterpillar.

Thank you, Moni!
by: Karen Elliott

Wow, I wasn't expecting such a speedy response! Thank you so much!!!

I'm going to pass this information along to my client in hopes that they can witness the transformation from catapillar to moth.

Keep up the great work!
Karen

I think I found a poisonous catipiller
by: Kholton

I found it is my driveway and I picked it up with a stick and it was like oozing on the ground it was laying on it is big and it has like knobs with red around then and it has like feet I recently killed a saddle back catipillers at my house to and those are poisonous

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black/yellow speckles/1 orange horn caterpillar ( White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar)

by Hansi
(Colorado Springs, CO, 80904)

black/yellow/orange_horn_caterpillar

black/yellow/orange_horn_caterpillar

about 2 inches long, black, yellow speckles, single orange horn, found in Colorado Springs, CO, 80904

My name is Hansi :-)

Comments for black/yellow speckles/1 orange horn caterpillar ( White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar)

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White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Hansi
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. These are found in open habitats like meadows, gardens, and deserts.

This insect is found all over North America, Central America as well as Eurasia and Africa.

Found him!
by: Reynessa

This beautiful gold glitter speckled black caterpillar was in Prescott Valley, Arizona!

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fluorescent fuzzy yellow caterpillar (Definite tussock moth caterpillar)

by David H Goldstein
(Yatmouth, ME, USA)

Bright yellow caterpillar, about 1 ½ inches long with long spiky fuzz, long multi-filament black antennae and 4 fuzzy yellow balls on it's back.

Found on an inflatable raft on the shore or Kezar Lake in Lovell, Maine.

Comments for fluorescent fuzzy yellow caterpillar (Definite tussock moth caterpillar)

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Definite tussock moth caterpillar
by: Moni

David
Your caterpillar is a tussock moth caterpillar in the genus Orgyia. Because of the coloration it is probably the definite tussock caterpillar. It would help to see the caterpillar's head color. which should be yellow for the definite tussock.


These caterpillars are common in the northeastern parts of North America west to TX. They feed on a wide range of trees such as apple, ash, basswood, birches, boxelder, cherry, elm, maple, oaks and willows.

The adult males have interesting bands of browns across the wings. The females are wingless.

Caution: the hairs of the caterpillars in this genus are known to cause skin irritation.

Thanks for the gumballs, Popeye!
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the ID (which I only just noticed), Moni. I'm glad I kept my 2 year-olds - who found this fuzzy guy - from touching it. Those long, needlelike hairs and freaky balls along its back were enough to give me pause....


Eureka, CA possible tussock moth caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I found the same caterpillar on a corn leaf in my garden. I have several pictures but am only making a comment now.

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White Fuzzy Yellow Tipped Caterpillar (Virginian tiger moth caterpillar)

by Scott
(Houston, TX)

Can you please tell me if this fuzzy critter is friend or foe? If it turns into something special like a moth or butterfly, I don't mind it eating my leaves. Right now, it's chowing down on my patchouli. I have more of it than I'll ever use anyway.

Comments for White Fuzzy Yellow Tipped Caterpillar (Virginian tiger moth caterpillar)

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Virginian tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Scott
Your caterpillar is that of a Virginian tiger moth. This is also sometimes called the yellow woolybear caterpillar.

The caterpillars of this moth do vary greatly from beige, yellow, rusty, brown, or black. The feed on the foliage of many plants, shrubs, and trees. They are not a pest. It is so good you will let it have a leaf or two of your patchouli...it will not cause significant damage.

The adult moth is mostly white with a couple of black dots on the wings. The abdomen of this moth is orangish-yellow along the sides with a row of black dots down the top side. These moths do come to lights. If you have one come to lights, you can sometimes get them to crawl onto your finger for better viewing.

This insect is found thru out North America.

This caterpillar is not known to cause any skin rashes.




Mystery Solved!
by: Anonymous

Thank you for getting back so quickly. I shall keep my eyes peeled for the moth. Though, the caterpillar has gone AWOL. I hope it comes back.

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Large caterpillar eating butterfly weed (White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar)

by Judy MacDonald
(Chino Hills, CA)

The caterpillar was about 2-3" long and eating the leaves of my butterfly weed. It was green and black with yellow legs and a yellow stripe down its "back". It had a horn like protrusion at the end.

Comments for Large caterpillar eating butterfly weed (White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar)

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White-lined sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Judy
Your photo is 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 watch them feed. 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. We can add butterfly weed :) They are not considered a pest of any crop. They are usually found in open habitats; deserts, meadows, gardens.

This insect is found all over North America, Central America as well as Eurasia and Africa.

Thank you
by: Judy

Thank you so much for your response, Moni. I've heard of moths that look like hummingbirds but I've never seen one. The caterpillar disappeared a couple of days after I posted my comment and I hope it wasn't eaten by a predator. I would love to see it fly around my yard. Thanks again for all of the information you provided.

Is this a stinging caterpillar
by: Connie

Found this on my morning glory but very pretty but I have hurt someone and is this one of them

white-lined sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Connie
No, these caterpillars do not sting or cause a rash of any kind. They have smooth bodies.

Most stinging caterpillars have hairs of some sort on their bodies. The hairs of the stinging caterpillars either have a substance on them or are barbed to cause a rash or stinging sensation.

Doug has a comment section labeled caterpillars that sting that will show you some of the caterpillar photos sent in that you need to be careful around.

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