Catepillar-yellow and black (American lady butterfly caterpillar)

by Shannon
(Barkhamsted, CT, USA)

I have about 5 on these on my licorce plant. They are eating away at it.

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American lady butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Shannon,

It looks like you have an American lady butterfly caterpillar. The larva like to feed on plants in the aster family as well as Everlastings(your licorice plant :-) ). You are fortunate to be growing one of the host plants for the caterpillar stage of that beautiful butterfly. It would be great if you can let them feed and turn into butterflies.

The plants are tough, strong growers so it will grow out of some feeding in no time as long as there is some foliage left.

It is not always easy to let our plants get some damage, but on the other hand if you let them have a little of the plant, the plant will be bushier, you will have beautiful butterflies to watch, and the life cycle of nature is happening in your garden. What a gem!

Thank you!
by: Shannon

I checked out your link and that is definitely it! I'm so excited to watch this tranformation.

Thanks again for the help.

American lady butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Great!
Do you have flowers that the butterflies will get nectar from?

Food
by: Shannon

I think they should be ok. I started a butterfly garden last year and have quite a few established flower gardens around the house and yard.

glow in the dark?
by: brandon

does it glow in the dark. i have footage pf one that really glows..its blows my mind. im tryin to see if it has been seen before

American Lady butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Brandon
The caterpillar of the American lady butterfly does not to my knowledge glow in the dark. However there are insects that if you would shine a black light on them they might glow...just like some of our fabrics do...like white shirts for instance. It would be because of their chemistry and coloration.

now I know
by: lars

yahooo...... I also have a horde of these caterpillars on my licorice plant and was ready to get rid or them, not knowing what they were going to become , I'm not a moth fan. So I will let them eat away and soon fly away thanks for the picture to slove my caterpillare mystry.

American lady butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Lars
Glad to hear you let them finish their life cycle.
Thanks.
Just a note that there are some equally cool moths! The large silkmoths are beautiful, the sphinx moths are fun to watch as they fly around like hummingbirds at dusk, the tiger moths that come from the woolly worms we all enjoyed as children....etc, etc, etc !

Lady Butterfly Caterpillar - Licorice and other plants
by: Fawn

Hello:

I too have these caterpillars on my licorice plants. These plants are in planters with other plants. So far, the caterpillars are only on the licorice plants. Should I be concerned about the other plants in the planters? I'd like to encourage the butterflies, but am I risking all the plants? Should I re-pot the licorice plants into one, licorice-plant-only pot? Thank you.

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green catepillar ( Rose sawfly larva)

by Juanita
(London, Ontario, Canada)

green catepillar on rose bushes

green catepillar on rose bushes

I have this small, soft, green catepillar that eats circles in the leaves of my rose bushes (only my rose bushes) and nibbles on the new buds. This insect curles up when not eating. I hand pick them off but what else can I do?

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Rose sawfly larva
by: Moni

From your description about it curling would make me think it is the Curled rose sawfly larva.One article says they enter the pith of rose canes through pruning cuts and pupates there. If so it is important to avoid fall pruning when the wood does not heal over quickly and prune out infested canes below the insect as soon as possible.
Sawflies are best controlled when young. Picking them off by hand is the first option. You can also try dislodging them with a stick or a stream of water (if using water be sure to spray early to allow foliage to dry by sunset so you do not leave moisture for fungal diseases), horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, rotenone or neem, are things to apply for young sawflies.
Good Luck!

I squish 'em.
by: Connie

I'm a mom, so catepillar goo doesn't gross me out. When looking over the roses, (and other front of the border stuff) I "fondle" the new leaves between thumb and finger firmly enough to rub 'em out. Works for aphids, too.

I squish 'em, too!
by: Nori Lane Bishop

When the rose sawfly larvae are first out and active on the rose leaves, they are very very tiny, and most of us miss them entirely, as they tend to hang out on the undersides of the leaves. By the time we notice the holes in the leaves, they have been munching away for awhile, and with such an appetite, they have gotten bigger. The longer they go before you squish them, the bigger they get. So it's easiest to squish them when they're very small. So the best time to get them is early, finding them by patrolling the roses early in the summer or late spring. They also seem to produce successive batches of larvae, or continuous hatching of them, since I've found others that have gotten large and done a bit of damage after I thought I'd killed them all and would be safe for the rest of the season. As they were eating roses in the garden of one of my clients, I didn't see them for a couple of weeks, and then they were large and happy, and I was not so happy squishong them! I tried spraying them with baccillus Thuringensis one year, but it didn't seem to be very effective escept for the ones that were sprayed directly, and I try to be very careful with bT in order to avoid killing the larvae of beneficial insects and butterflies.
Thanks, Moni, for the info about the Safers' Soap, Neem, etc.
Good luck, all!

Bt for caterpillars
by: Moni

Nori
Bt works well for the caterpillars of butterflies and moths(order Lepidoptera) and will not work well for sawflies(order Hymenoptera - bees and wasps). Tho sawflies look like caterpillars, they are different enough that Bt does not work for them.
Bt is great for cabbage worms or tent caterpillars, but thanks for being careful to not use it where it could hurt our beautiful butterfly caterpillars!

Thanks for the info
by: Juanita

Well, this is a great little site.
Thanks to all who have given me some advice of this little pest-larva. I have been diligently picking them off and for 2 weeks now, haven't seen anymore. Will keep on top of this from now on.

Success!
by: Moni

Great to hear you have been successful in getting rid of the pest. May your roses bloom even more for you for being so good to them!

Do these eat leafy veggies too?
by: Anonymous

i found the same type of pest last summer on my Bok Choy. it was almost ready for it to be picked when it had been devoured by these chubby things i almost couldn't see them because they were as green as my bok choy i wanted to cry T_T they ate ALLL of it T_T

Rose sawfly larva
by: Moni

Anonymous
The rose sawfly larvae only eat rose foliage, not vegetables nor other plants.
So, what was on your bok choy was another green worm. Next time you see it, take a close up photo and send it in for ID :)

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black , white , with orange head (Zebra caterpillar)

by Zachary Boudreaux
(ville platte , La)

the caterpillar is about 2 - 2 1/2 inch long with black and white body and green underneth with a reddish head found on a wild weed grass in my ditch.

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what kind of butterfly?
by: Anonymous

Does anyone know what kind of butterfly it will make?

unknown caterpillar
by: Moni

Zachary
Have searched and not found a match for your caterpillar yet. Do you have a photo showing the head and a view from the top?
Just because you found it on a grass does not mean that is what it was eating. Were there any trees nearby that it might have dropped off of?
Any other clues or photos would be appreciated.
I will keep looking.

Zebra caterpillar
by: Moni

Zachary
Thanks for this additional photo. My first thought was zebra caterpillar from this photo but most I have seen have a lot more yellow striping than your photos showed.

My guess is there are some regional differences or the food source, or the stage of development provides some variation in the coloration.

Zebra caterpillars feed on foliage of a wide variety of plants including - alfalfa, cabbage, carrot, clover, dandelion, dock, pea, pigweed, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, apple, birch, cherry, plum, and willow.

It overwinters as a pupa and will emerge as a moth in the spring. The moth is a reddish brown rather non-descript moth.

Broccoli
by: Anonymous

I think I found this caterpillar on my broccoli yesterday. What exactly will this turn into, I left them alone because my broccoi looked terrible anyway, with or without the cats snacking on it.

Zebra caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
for your answer please see the comment right under yours :-)

one of these on my broccoli too
by: Cindy

I had these on my broccoli too, what does it turn into? My broccoli looks horrible too, turned

Monarch?
by: Kyle

I've raised caterpillars for like 10 or 15 years now, and it certainly looks like a monarch caterpillar. I can't be certain though, as they usually munch on milk weed.

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blue spikey caterpillar with orange spots and legs (Cloak butterfly larva)

by Bill Duval
(Woonsocket , Rhode Island)

2"-2.5" long Dark blue and black with a single row of orange spots along the back & orange legs. Covered with barbed spikes and fine white hairs. I have lived in Rhode Island for 48 years and this is the first time I have ever seen this type of caterpillar. There seems to be aprox. 75 to 100 on one bush in a fairly wooded area , none of the surounding trees or bushes seem to have any.

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Mourning Cloak butterfly larva
by: Moni

Bill
You have found Mourning Cloak butterfly larva. They feed on willows,poplars, elm, hackberry, and birch.
According to Wagner's Caterpillars of E. North America, eggs are laid in clusters around a twig. "The larvae remain together until they are fully-fed and finally move off their foodplant to pupate - they may even leave more or less en masse."
Adults overwinter in woodpiles, sheltered site or sheds.
Evidently you happened on the right place at the right time to see these! The butterfly is one of my favorites. Great find!

caterpillar
by: kate

what kind of caterpillar is this it's under my deck in a j he's about to go into it's cacoon.

We found this insect in So CAL
by: Shannon McCann

We live in San Diego and sound this in our back yard. We were trying to identify it and found your website. The kids were alarmed by the spikes, but the picture was a great help. I'm so glad this site was available. Thank you.

Cindy in Carrollton, TX
by: Anonymous

I have about 10-15 of these crawling up the north side of my house. There are plenty of shrubs around that they could have been sheltering in. I've never seen anything like it before.

Morningcloak butterfly larva
by: Moni

Cindy
As mentioned in the comment section below - "The larvae remain together until they are fully-fed and finally move off their foodplant to pupate - they may even leave more or less en masse."
So, perhaps your caterpillars are ready to pupate!
Let us know!

Read more: http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/blue-spikey-caterpillar-with-orange-spots-and-legs-cloak-butterfly-larva-comments.html#ixzz0lwQwmTJM

Thank You
by: Ashley Fowler

Moni, Thank you for the information! We will leave them alone.

three spikey caterpillars
by: Kimberly

We had these in 2007 right at memorial Day weekend, but haven't seen any since. At that time I couldn't find info on the web, and the cty extension didn't recognize my description. They said to bring it in, but it rained for the next several days and we couldn't find any after the rains. Today, we've found 3 within a half hour in the back yard. Only trees nearby are maple, crabapple and mulberry.

Caterpillar
by: Nicholas

Me and my classmates found like 5 of these on a small tree while on a little 5th grade picknick and tow of us(one of them is me) took one home. They're really wierd the spikes dont hert but are they dangerous?

Mourningcloak butterfly larva
by: Moni

Nicholas
They are not dangerous. Thanks for looking up what you found!

You can share the information with your friends as well as what I wrote below in the original comment - They feed on willows,poplars, elm, hackberry, and birch.

According to Wagner's Caterpillars of E. North America, eggs are laid in clusters around a twig. "The larvae remain together until they are fully-fed and finally move off their foodplant to pupate - they may even leave more or less en masse."

Adults overwinter in woodpiles, sheltered site or sheds.

whoa!
by: Anonymous

there are like 30 of them climbing up a tree right next to my house and they are all falling in the drive way :( poor things, i moved them to the side where there are things to eat

scary
by: Anonymous

my dog ate one. i hope nothing happens to her im gonna take her to the vet

We have a lot of them too
by: Anonymous

We live in southern california and our apartment complex has tons of them cocooning by our doors and balconies. So happy to find out what they will be. They are amazing. This has never happened before in our area.

just wondering
by: Anonymous

Ok so I have a question .... r they poisonious .... because I found like 20 of them on the out side of my housee, I killed a couple lol and I was scared of them too

Mourning cloak butterfly
by: Moni

Just Wondering
As I mentioned a couple of comments below yours.....So sorry you started killing before you checked to see what it was...they are harmless butterfly caterpillars!

They are not dangerous. Thanks for looking up what you found! See the website below for more pictures and information.

You can share the information with your friends as well as what I wrote below in the original comment - They feed on willows,poplars, elm, hackberry, and birch.

According to Wagner's Caterpillars of E. North America, eggs are laid in clusters around a twig. "The larvae remain together until they are fully-fed and finally move off their foodplant to pupate - they may even leave more or less en masse."

Adults overwinter in woodpiles, sheltered site or sheds.


i live in rhode island too !
by: Anonymous

i lived in rhode island for 27 years and neither have i ever seen this. to be honest i rarely ever see caterpillers. i found my way to this site becuz i found caterpillars outside and brought one home. its all green with a blue tailish type of thing on its back side.

Amazing
by: Anonymous

Thank you very much for identifying these guys, my wife and I were very concerned, I was on the patio for a cigarette when I heard something fall into the bushes.... I looked around and noticed 20 plus crawling on the walls of our balcony and the neighbors as well, they are defenatly one of the most interesting insect I've ever seen, my wife and I both said they looked like something from Nat Geo!

We were scared at first but now we're extremely curious!

This is a great site, thanks again!


In-class field trip
by: Mrs. Van Dyck

Wow! A fellow teacher brought one to our class and asked if I wanted it. I am a science teacher and of COURSE I said yes! We were concerned because it has spikes: spikes=potential danger and because of the red spots=potential danger.
However, when there was time to "google" it we found your site (as well as others) which told us that it is not dangerous and we could tough it if we wanted to.
I absolutely love that my middle-scholars had some perspective of how to handle "unfamiliar creatures" and their first instinct was not to kill it. (Yaay!)
My question to you is: How can we keep it so that we can study it some more?
FYI we are in Long Beach California. In case you are tracking them!
Thank you for your amazing site!

Morning cloak butterfly larva
by: Moni

Mrs. Van Dyck

Some of the best information (rather than trying to write it all out here) is to google raising caterpillars and click on the bugguidedotcom link.

They tell you a lot of info about what to do, what to look for, etc.

Just saw this post, so hope it is not too late...if not you will know for next field trip.

Oh my GOD! Thank you.
by: Chloe

I have a hard time remembering things, like my best friends names and my mothers phonenumber, but this memory was something I cherish every time I write a poem.
It happened when I was very young (younger than 6). I was playing at my moms daycare, sitting in the backyards' sandbox when the other kids start crowding around Manny. In his hand Is a black spiked caterpillar, which as you can guess, was a cloak butterfly caterpillar. Over the next few days we set up a habitat inside my eldest brothers fish tank. With a stroke of luck It happened to eat from the pile of leaves I stuck inside it. Looking back at it now, it's hilarious. It could have died, we didn't even know the species, less what it needed.
But every day it was bombarded by a crowd of children- itching for a glance. I'd watch it grow, turn into a pupa and 'hatch' into a beautiful butterfly. On the day it opened its wings and was ready for release the trees were brimmed with a firey color of autumn. When I saw it, me being the butterfly expert of the crowd, would shout "Its a blue monarch mom! Its a blue monarch!"
Gah, I hate being adorable.
It was sad watching it leave, knowing it'd never come back again- maybe.
Today I am a teenager, it's my birthday next month, and its the same time of year that blue butterfly came. It's 10:30 and I didn't want to get up, when my mom comes in, talking about butterflies.
"You know that blue butterfly we took in when you were little? The one we took in."
The same exact branch.
"Nneah."
"Well it's on our tree in the backyard."
Well lets just say I almost raced outside in a nightgown and underwear- almost.

Morning cloak butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Chloe
So glad you enjoy this caterpillar!
There are so many neat caterpillars, so keep your eye out for others!

Perhaps you should consider studying entomology after you graduate from high school! :-) Insects are so cool!!

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Angora Caterpillar (Butternut woollyworm)

by Grammadot
(Barto,PA)

Poor Camouflague

Poor Camouflague

Unbelievable; soft greenish worm wearing a fluffy white coat. Eats, shoots and leaves ....oh no, that's a panda.
I think it likes black walnut.

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White fuzzy worm
by: Moni

Grammadot
Since I can't see the green worm, I am not sure what you have. Seeing the white fuzz on the leaf near the worm makes me think this may be mealybug or something else.
For better identification it would be good to show a picture of the green worm, please.
Thanks

Diseased caterpillar?
by: Moni

Grammadot
Could this be a diseased caterpillar? There are some caterpillars that get on Blackeyed Susan flowers that camoflage themselves with parts of the flower and plant, but this is strange looking.
Do you have any other photos of this critter or others like him?
Still thinking about this one??

Butternut woollyworm
by: Moni

Grammadot
Finally found your critter!!

You found a butternut woollyworm.

The white stuff is a waxy layer on the back of the green larva.

They feed on butternut and black walnut trees.

The adult is a sawfly that is black with white legs .

That is a family of stingless wasps. They can be a pest of small seedling walnut trees, but should not be a major pest most of the time.


So glad to finally find your critter and know for sure what it is! :-))

Thank you Moni.
by: Grammadot

We have the right environment for these nut tree lovers; squirels keep the walnut tree population constantly increasing. The titlele "Angora" is derived from the sweaters gals wore in the 40's. The fuzz got all over a sailor's Navy Blues!

Finally!
by: Mr. Loidolt

What a cool caterpillar!

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Weird caterpiller (Scarab Grub)

by Amanda Day
(Patterson, CA, United States)

We found 4 of these insects buried in dirt. They have the head of a giant ant, the body of a caterpiller, 6 legs and pinchers on their heads and antenne. They curl into a ball.

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Grub
by: MydMo

This is a common grub usually found in the ground and in my garden where it feeds on various root crops. They will mature into some variety of beetle as an adult.

Scarab Grub
by: Moni

Amanda
You have grubs in your soil. Not sure which grub you have. The adults are most commonly called June beetles...tho there are many adults that provide grubs in our lawns that are pests.
These would include but not limited to - June and May beetles, Japanese beetles, Northern masked chafers. Most grubs in the Scarabidae family feed on roots of plants....mostly lawn grasses especially bluegrass.

These grubs can be identified by looking at the patterns of the rasters (hairs) on the rear end. Then you know if you have a pest grub or just an incidental grub.

email me if u have info
by: Woried Student

i found this weird grub so im bringing it in to my science class to have it examined i tried to put one in alchohol and it didnt do any thing i have a 2.0inch one and a .5 inch one

Scarabaeidae grub
by: Moni

Woried Student
You did not say where you found these grubs? Or why you are worried...they do not bite??
As mentioned below in the comment section, these are grubs of some sort.

There are 27,000 species of grubs in the world.

Without a photo of the rastor patterns and closeup of the insect or have the insect in hand it would be hard to id. It may have to be keyed out which is viewing under a microscope to look at legs, rastor patterns, face, mouthparts, etc.

Larvae typically feed on decomposing matter: dung, carrion, etc. Some live in soil and feed on roots--some of these are agricultural pests.

You could take the grubs to your local extension service for identification.

Scarab beetle grub
by: Moni

j lynn
This grub is the larva of a beetle, so technically it is not a caterpillar. We usually call larva of butterflies and moths caterpillars.
Beetle stages of life are egg, larva (in this family of beetles - Scarabaeidae the larva are called grubs), pupa, then adult beetles.
They are common in soils as they eat plant roots and decaying organic matter.

Larvae
by: Ashlie

I have these everywhere, and after research and professional confirmation, I found that it is the larvae of a sugar cane beetle. Search sugar cane beetle larvae on google images and you'll see pictures.

Scarab grub
by: Moni

Ashlie
We do not know which Scarabaeidae grub Amanda had, since we did not have the grub in hand.

The ones in your yard, may be the sugar cane beetle...they are all in the Scarabaeidae family of beetles. These grubs all look similar in a photo.

Sugarcane beetles live in eastern US from Oklahoma and Kentucky southward, so that must be the area where you live. Amanda, who sent the photo in, was from CA, so it is NOT the sugarcane beetle grub in her soil.
As I commented originally there are many scarab beetles in N America...around 1400 species.

Glad you found out which one is in your yard.

Grub
by: Trina

Looks like the ever pesky Japanese beetle to me. I live in Alabama and every spring when we are getting the garden ready to plant, we dig up several of these. They start coming out of the ground here as beetles in June. Chickens love 'em.

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Moth or Giant catapillar with lime green wings (Luna Moth)

by Chris
(Western, PA)

bug

bug

White fat body, brown stripes, large lime green lettuce looking wings.

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Luna moth
by: Moni

Chris
You have a great 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!
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.
What a great find! I am jealous!

Moth emergence
by: Steve H

Just going to say the same, at least about its recent emergence.

maybe
by: Steph

Looks like it could be a cicada - cant enlarge it so not 100%. Looks like the one I had in my driveway.

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Big Green with Orange Headdress (Hickory Horned Devil)

by Carol Harrison
(Atlanta, GA)

About 4 inches long. Southeast Georgia (about 30 miles west of Brunswick). Photo from 10/17. Crawling up a tree.

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Hickory Horned Devil
by: Moni

Carol
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.

Read more here


Camp Caterpillar
by: Isabella Evans

I found a Hickory Horned Devil caterpillar at Camp Cullen in Trinity, Texas.It fell from a Cottonwood Tree. I thought it was a plastic toy. It made a loud thud sound when it dropped to the ground. My father screamed like a baby when he touched it with a stick, and he's 47 years old! He is a big baby. To me it looked like it was dangerous and poisonous. I thought it could kill me!

!!
by: Anonymous

I saw one today (july 31, 2010) on the NCR trail in Baltimore, Maryland. It was huge!!! An inch or so thick and about 5 inches long. Very cool

the beautiful beast !
by: chandra

I saw one today on a put put course in Indianapolis . When I saw it I freaked! I thought did I fall down a rabbit hole ? It's stright out of Alice and wonderland ! From my research they're from all over the place !

The hickory horn devil
by: Anonymous

I am located in Western Pennsylvania and found one of theses full grown!

ew
by: Anonymous

My dad found one when he was working in the yard in Virginia.

big fat caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I was working on a tree job with my boyfriend, and saw this big fat caterpillar with horns. I researched its identity and it is a horned hickory devil. Thank God it wasn't poisonous, I couldn't resist picking it up. Very ominous looking with a twinge of cuteness.

Baton Rouge, LA
by: Anonymous

Found one of these 9/4/2010. Beauty and the Beast.

highlight of my day
by: Anonymous

I am located just south of St. Louis Missouri and I saw one of these catapillars on a walk today. It fell out of a walnut tree and of coarse we all had to poke at it. I did'nt want to touch it, I thought for sure it was poisonous. Great photo.

One Big Scary Catapiller
by: Clint

8/5/11 Found one on my popup camper in Verona Virgina.

a large catelpiller
by: Anonymous

i found 1 of these catelpillers 2day in owenton ky in my driveway it fell out of a ash tree. i saw it 40 or 50 ft from me crawling on the ground. it was the largest i have ever seen/

wow its big
by: patti

i live in howell new jersey and found one in my yard today 8/12/2011 it really is ugly

Thanks!
by: Anonymous

A friend of mine found one of these on a tree oustside of his home in central eastern Indiana. I searched the description with Bing and found your site. Thanks for helping us I.D. this devilish looking thing!

HICKORY HORNED DEVIL
by: Moni

Anonymous
'Devilish looking thing!...hahaha :-) great pun

Grew up in east central IN.

Found one today
by: Wendy

Just outside of Charleston, West Virginia. Never seen anything like it!

NC
by: NC

Have one of these things hanging beside my house! freaky looking. lookin forward to seeing what it turns into

Horned devil
by: Tom Macher

i found one in a Walnut tree on a branch 6 feet above ground in the back yard. It was well over 4 inches long. I was surprised that a Caterpillar Could grow to this size .A truly amazing creature. MY location is the north area of Pittsburgh pa

Nice to see!
by: Anonymous

Thank you Carol your comments were very helpful. Nice to have seen one and know what it turns into. A very cool looking specimen. Enjoy the rest of your Summer.

Amazing Caterpillar
by: Lois

We just found this caterpillar this morning while camping in central Ohio. It fell out of an Ash Tree about 2 feet away from me. I bet that thud gave it a nice headache! Never have seen one of these before so we had to come home and research photos online. It is definately a scary site to see when you don't know what it is and I was afraid to touch it. Now that I know what it is, we are going to return it to it's natural environment. I must say what a beautiful and amazing looking creature!

Hickory horned devil caterpillar
by: Moni

Lois
So glad you can appreciate this cool caterpillar! There are many amazing insects out there if we look :-)

awesome !
by: Larry

sw pa. found it 9-6-16 while mowing. fiercest caterpillar i've ever seen

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Big fat green caterpillar with orange spots (Polyphemus Moth caterpillar)

by Ak
(Irmo, SC)

I found this in South Carolina in the grass beneath an oak tree in late October.

It's about 4 inches long, with faint whiskers sparsely spread throughout the body....

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fat green caterpillar
by: artzdlfin

it looks like a horn worm. i usually find them on my tomato plants.

Polyphemus Moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Ak
Your photo looks like the caterpillar of the Polyphemus moth. This is one of the large silkworm moths.
At this time of year it is probably heading to pupate. The cocoons are either spun on the tree of the host plant or in leaf litter under the tree. You have two generations of this insect in the south, but it is time to overwinter as a cocoon. The larva feed on many deciduous trees and shrubs including oak, as well as birch, hickory, maple, willow, grape and roses.

Hornworms usually have a tail that tell us they are in the Sphingid family of moths.

Luna
by: Anonymous

This is a luna moth caterpillar. I am raising some right now and this is just what they look like!

Polyphemus Moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
This is a Polyphemus Moth caterpillar not a Luna caterpillar - based on the direction of the light colored stripes.

If you look at images of both you will see that the Polyphemus has light colored stripes that go from the top to the bottom of the caterpillar
Perhaps you are rearing Polyphemus rather than Luna??

The Caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I found the same caterpillar at recess at school and found it on this website and I am going to tell the teacher the name of the caterpillar.The teacher and was looking on the internet today and never found it and Idid

Polyphemus Moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
So glad you were able to find the identification on your caterpillar...sometimes teachers need help with internet searches on the computer. Thanks for finding out what it was.
Have you looked up what the moth looks like?

Luna moth!
by: Anonymous

My friend sent me a pic of one just like it but in the rusty color phase and in searching to identify it, the luna moth was what I found. It's not spiny at all like the Polyphemus caterpillar and she has had quite a few adults this year around her house. I "rescue" giant leopard moths and their caterpillars so this one I'm encouraging her to rescue. Hope that one turned into a beautiful adult for your enjoyment!

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yellow fuzzy caterpillar (Banded or Pale Tussock moth caterpillar )

by claire
(Quebec, Canada)

I brought in my hibiscus to overwinter and brought in a furry little friend at the same time. Will be turn into a butterfly or moth?

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Banded or Pale Tussock moth caterpillar
by: Moni

You have brought in a Banded tussock moth caterpillar sometimes called Pale tussock moth. So your friend will turn into a pale yellow/brown moth that has faint bands across the wings. There is one generation per year in Canada.
It feeds on leaves of many trees so you could put it out on a tree and let it finish getting ready for winter.

Fuzzy Caterpillar
by: Cheyenne

I live in Lumber Bridge, NC (USA), today I found this caterpillar in my backyard and took several pictures of it. Is is supposed to jump backwards, because after I was around it for a while it started to jump back. I really think it is facinating.

Yellow Fuzzy Caterpillar
by: Joan Pierce

I found one on a rock in my yard early one
morning in Waterboro, Maine.

MA
by:

we just found one in massachusetts in our driveway!

Yellow Fuzzy
by: wquinn2

Saw this caterpillar in Oklahoma over the weekend 10/9/10 in the woods.

Yellow Fuzzy Caterpillar
by: Cheryl

I just found this caterpillar on my patio. It was caught in a spider web and had managed to get away. This is the first time I have ever seen a caterpillar like this. St. Charles, MO

Fuzzy Guy
by: Brian

Found one in Indianapolis, IN. Early August.

Don't handle with bare hands.
by: Anonymous

I recently read that you should not handle them because their hair is toxic. Of course you won't die but you could get rashes, blisters, and if you have asthma, your breathing can be seriously affected.

yellow fuzzy
by: sherry

I was at the park with my 2 kids sitting on a bench & felt something on my right foot & looked down & FREAKED OUT, it was that yellow fuzzy guy then half hr passed another fuzzy guy on my left foot FREACKED ME OUT again, but it was funny, i put them safe & sound on a tree.

Found in Huntsville, AL
by: Jennifer

I found one climbing the brick wall on my front porch here in Huntsville, AL. So gorgeous! I wonder if I should move him to a tree?

sighting
by: Anonymous

Just saw one today on our porch in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

so cute!!
by: Anonymous

I went to water my flowers and found this cute guy
on the handle of my garden hose sleeping. He crawled around the ground keeping me company while I continued to water. So beautiful, and content! Are these known to Minnesota?

darn
by: Anonymous

i found one on a treecko canton, OH

fuzzy yellow caterpillar
by: beth

Just saw one here in CT 8/22/2011. Went in to get my camera and when I got back there was a blue jay licking his chops!

yellow fuzzy caterpillar
by: Ruth C. Hepp

I saw this caterpillar on the side of my house today, 8/22/11, in Natick, MA.

Rash
by: Anonymous

I had one crawling on my shirt and did not know it.
My arm rubbed up against it for I know not to long
Left arm and stomach broke out into a very large rash!

Neon yellow creepy crawler
by: Polly

Found one outside our office door on the brickwork. Never seen one before, but we had a good laugh sending it's photo around the offices.
Northwest Connecticut

Found one today!
by: Anonymous

Cme across one rambling across my deck. First time I've ever seen one of these! Leroy, Ohio 8/26/11.

Yellow fuzzy with black tufts
by: Gilly C.

Saw one of these today at Cumberland Heritage Museum, ON. Climbed on my clothing and my arm felt itchy the rest of the day. Managed to encourage it onto a bush. Kids were fascinated!

Fuzzy Yellow Critter
by: Anonymous

My daughter found one on our front porch and decided to keep it. We put it in a jar and its making a cocoon!

Burton, MI

Banded or Pale Tussock Moth Caterpillar
by: Nicole

8/31/2011
My kids have been finding these caterpillars on a daily basis in Seymour, Indiana. They have found long and tiny ones. My older daughters let one crawl up my 21 months old arms and neck. She got a terrible rash on her neck that spread along her lower jaw and upper shoulder and chest. Beware...they look cute and soft but they do irrate the skin. How severe depends on your skin...

banded moth
by: Stephany

i found one on my bush in coshocton ohio...9-4-2011

Newmarket, Ontario
by: Anonymous

Found one on my porch in Newmarket, Ontario

newaygo, mi
by: Anonymous

my son found one of these and it stung him and would not let go of his shirt we have been finding alot of them around here.

Never seen this before today.
by: Zsa Zsa

Found one this morning - I have never seen one before. I am used to seeing a lot of different caterpillars here in Tallahassee but never one like this.

yellow fuzzy tussock caterpillar
by: Anonymous

They are everywhere on my bushes, I would like to keep them off my roses. They are not so cute when they are found everywhere you look. More of a pest. Would like to eliminate them from my yard
New Brunswick Canada

Never seen on of these B-4
by: Anonymous

Found one in our garden in Cherryfield, Maine, today

Awesome insect!
by: Kathleen

Found one of these little guys on my walk home from the beach. I showed him to my little sister and now we keep him in a jar as a pet! His name is Fabio, because he has such long hair. P.s. are these native to Evanston, IL?

Peterborough Ontario Canada
by: Beavermead Campground

Found on the outdoor washroom floor Sept 20 2013

Black and Red
by: Dave

Just found one in my back yard in Evanston,WY. On 09/23/2013.

Cute stowaways
by: Christine

We have more than a dozen in our front yard, different sizes. They drop onto the car and ride around with us. They hold on really well! Sometimes they tuck themselves in under the spoiler or inside a door. My daughter and I have both handled them without any problems. She wants to keep one as a pet, and I haven't let her. She does keep naming them though. It's nice to know we'll always see at least a few when we go out.

Bowie, MD
10/14/13

brown tussok moth caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I just found one only it's not yellow.For some reason it's actually a very pale brown.

Fuzzy friend
by: Olivia

Came accross this fella for the first time and found this site while trying to identify him. Saw this caterpillar today July 20, 2014 in New Jersey shore area. Took a bit to find a free to put him on at the shore!

on the sidewalk
by: Lynn

Saw this caterpillar on the sidewalk in Hopewell, NJ, today August 19. Glad to find out it's a moth.

Yellow fuzzy catepillar
by: Anonymous

Found this on leaf of a pink wildflower leaf in Lockport, NY. My daughter loves to collect and watch the transformation.

Virginia
by: Anonymous

Just found one in Waynesboro VA, have never seen one like this before. He was on a bucket in the sandbox.

Spotted in Virginia - Aug. 2015
by: Anonymous

Found one this morning walking across my brick porch - 8/14/15 - Earlysville, VA

In wild and wonderful
by: Mom n Daughter

We found on on the front porch.ours is more of a lime green.My daughter kept him. He is now a cocoon in a jar. We are in north WV

Found in Florida
by: Grimes Family

We walked out this morning and found one these little guys on our car. We live in Florida. Is this usual to find them this far south? We relocated him and are hoping he'll make it to moth stage.

Pretty Catepillar
by: Anonymous

We found one of these hanging on for dear life on the mirror of our truck on the way back from camping in Kentucky. We put it on a leaf when we got to our RV storage location.

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1 inch green caterpillar (Looper Caterpillar)

by Kimberlee K.
(Las Vegas, NV, US)

1 in. green caterpillars and cocoons

1 in. green caterpillars and cocoons

I thought these were Hornworms infesting my garden again, but these were making a cocoon and are only an inch or smaller. I found them among my tomatoes, on the leaves and stems. Also found one in the basil, but its right near the tomato. There are 5 in the picture, 2 larvae and 3 cocoons... I live in Las Vegas NV and its Oct, in the 80's in the day and 60's at night. I found them during a regular inspection watering. Thank you for your time. I tried looking on the web for an id, but all I found were the hornworms.

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Looper caterpillar
by: Moni

Kimberlee
Your photo is of a looper, family Geometridae. There is not a looper caterpillar that only feeds on tomatoes. The cabbage looper is known to feed on tomatoes besides cabbage family, as well as basil, so that is probably what yours is. The caterpillar turns into a brownish moth.
The cabbage looper usually does not cause major damage to tomatoes, however if it you have a lot of them, you could spray with Bt. Bacillus thuringensis is a bacteria that only affects caterpillars. Tho this is organic you do not want to spray it near beneficial caterpillars or those of the big silk moths. This will control the caterpillars not the cocoons. Please read the label for application directions.

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Orange caterpillar with black and yellow stripes

by Ruth and Simon
(Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

We found an orange, furry caterpillar with black and yellow stripes running along the length of its body. It was in our green bean plants, on the ground this morning. It has a black head (two spots that are eyes maybe and a black mouth.

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Salt marsh caterpillar
by: Moni

Ruth and Simon

From your description and the photo I believe it is a Salt marsh caterpillar.


Virginian tiger moth caterpillar looks similar but does not have the black face.

Larvae feed on a wide variety of mainly weedy plants including pigweed, anglepod , Sicklepod , Dog Fennel, ground cherry, and mallow, plus crops such as alfalfa, asparagus, bean, beet, cabbage, carrot, celery, clover, corn, cotton, lettuce, onion, pea, potato, soybean, sugarbeet, tobacco, tomato, and turnip.
This insect overwinters as a mature larva which pupates in early spring on the soil among leaf debris; adults emerge about 2 weeks later. Larvae are active, often found wandering over the soil in search of suitable food.

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green-hairless-golden stripe (Mottled Prominent moth caterpillar)

by Rebecca Johnson
(Birdsboro, PA, USA)

Green

Green

about 1.5" long, green, hairless, red-golden stripe down back, split tail

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Mottled Prominent moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Rebecca
Your photo is of what looks like a mottled prominent caterpillar. This turns into a moth.
The larva feed on various trees and shrubs, especially noted on oak, as well as others like maple and beech.
They are not considered a pest.

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orange head , black and white catapillar (Zebra caterpillar))

by Zachary Boudreaux
(ville platte , LA)

piucture of the haed

piucture of the haed

Here is another picture of the caterpillar , I do have some oak trees nearby. I also have a soybean feild near my home

Comments for orange head , black and white catapillar (Zebra caterpillar))

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Zebra caterpillar
by: Moni

Zachary
Thanks for this additional photo. My first thought was zebra caterpillar from your other photo but most I have seen have a lot more yellow striping than your photos showed.

My guess is there are some regional differences or the food source, or the stage of development provides some variation in the coloration.

Zebra caterpillars feed on foliage of a wide variety of plants including - alfalfa, cabbage, carrot, clover, dandelion, dock, pea, pigweed, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, apple, birch, cherry, plum, and willow.

It overwinters as a pupa and will emerge as a moth in the spring. The moth is a reddish brown rather non-descript moth.

I will post this info on your other photo.

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orange fuzzy caterpillar (Salt marsh caterpillar)

by Janie
(Rhode Island)

Found on a sunny wooden fence next to mixed gardens at a Harvest Festival in Southern Rhode Island in October.

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Salt marsh caterpillar
by: Moni

Janie
If this caterpillar has a black head then it is a salt marsh caterpillar. They come in many colors.
These caterpillars feed in gardens, fields, meadows, roadsides, etc. They eat a wide variety of plants including garden plants, pigweed, mallow alfalfa, soybeans, etc. They are not considered a pest.
The larva are found wandering in search of food, but this time of year may be looking for a place to overwinter. Then in spring it will pupate and then turn into a white moth.

orange (or black) caterpillar
by: cc124

what type of butterfly? what food does it eat?

Salt Marsh moth
by: Moni

cc124
The caterpillar turns into a moth that does not feed it only lives a few days.

orange
by: Anonymous

I found one of those orange fuzzy catepillars as well and thats why im on here to try and figure it out. it does not have a black head however, it is all completely orange.

Salt marsh caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
If you orange fuzzy caterpillar does not have a black face then it is probably the Virginia tiger moth caterpillar. They look very similar except for the head.

The VA tiger caterpillar can be beige, yellow, orange or reddish as well as black. The feed on a wide variety of plants just like the salt marsh caterpillar. They are found thru out North America.



Thanks for checking!

Kansas
by: Doris

My yard is full of these golden yellow fuzzy caterpillars....thousands of them!!! Tiger Moths? are they something I need to be concerned about? Never have i seen so many!

Salt marsh caterpillars
by: Moni

Doris
These salt marsh caterpillars are very safe. They are not poisonous. Enjoy!

Orange yellowish catapillar
by: Anonymous

I found two catapillars like this on my ? How
Texas blackfoot daisies. Are they going to kill my daisies? How can I get rid of them?

Ginny

salt marsh caterpillar
by: Moni

Ginny
From what I read about your daisy they self seed, so you should have plenty for the caterpillars and for you. If they start to feed too much, you can move them to other wild areas nearby.
These caterpillars feed on a wide range of plants....presuming that what you see is this particular caterpillar.
You could send a photo for ID if you are not sure.

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Fuzzy white caterpillar (Lappet moth caterpillar)

by Katharine
(Murray, Kentucky)

Fuzzy white caterpillar

Fuzzy white caterpillar

Found at the base of an oak tree on some monkey grass, but it was not eating. It was about 2-1/2 inches long, and even the feet were tufted. I live in western Kentucky, near the town of Murray. And, by the way, I don't consider most insects pests--I'm just naturally curious and could not find this in my field guide. Thanks for any help.

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Lappet moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Katharine
Your photo is of a Lappet moth caterpillar.
I believe it is the dot-line white caterpillar. It does feed on oak, as well as cherry or rose. The large tolype larva, which looks similar also feeds on oak as well as cherry, birch, beech,apple, ash and aspen.
They are found in deciduous woodlands.

Adults are nocturnal and attracted to lights at night.
They sure are unusual looking caterpillars and quite large.
Neat find. The adults are neat looking also.

Many thanks
by: Katharine

I am so grateful for your help in identifying my "fuzzy white caterpillar" as Lappet moth caterpillar. Thanks so much. I have found several other interesting and strange caterpillars in the yard recently, but this one was the only one that was a complete mystery. I appreciate your help so much!

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orange caterpillar with black ends (Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillar)

by for Richard
(Sequim Washington)

What Will I become??

What Will I become??

Thia caterpiller is yellow, fuzzy and has black bands at the head & tail

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Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Richard
You have found a Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillar.
These are in the Tiger moth family like the banded wooly bear caterpillars common in the fall.
These caterpillars like to eat leaves of poplar and willow, but also feed on alder, basswood, birch, maple, oak.
It is interesting to note that depending on what part of the country you live in, the coloration of the larva changes. In your part of the country the larva have black tufts of hair on the back, while in the Rockies there are none. Earlier instars of this larva are white with black tufts of hair on their backs.
There is one generation per year.

Caterillars
by: Anonymous

How do I get rid of them?

i found one
by: Anonymous

i have one of these guys at my work being blown around by the wind. i got him i na jar by my bed and hes cocooned i was woudnering what he will look like and how long will he stay in his cocoon so when he hatches i can let him go

danger
by: Anonymous

are they dangrouse

Can I keep him?
by: Ashley

Just found one of these guys on my porch. Would love to use him as a project for my boys. It's the beginning of October when will it start to make its cocoon?

Silly Daughter
by: Jessica D.Everett

Careful, some people are actually allergic to their hairs. My 7 y/o daughter found out the hard way when she thought it would be a good idea to try and keep one in her pocket. She broke out in hives head to toe. Yeesh! We live in The Pocono Mountains of PA

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furry yellow caterpillar (Tussock moth caterpillar )

by Rory Verbrugge
(Fermoy, Cork, Ireland)

fuzzy guy

fuzzy guy

yellow furry caterpillar

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Moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Rory
Not sure which moth caterpillar this is. It could be a tussock or a tiger moth caterpillar. You don't say the size or what plant you found it on or near.
Caterpillars vary a lot in color and bristle/hair formation as they go thru different instars(molting stages) as they grow. You probably have different species in Ireland than we have here, which makes it more challenging for us when most of our moth guides are for North America.
Here are a couple of photos to compare it to, however these are only species from the US.
Let us know if you find more and have more information.
Thanks

fuzzy
by: Rory V

This caterpillar was approxamitly 13mm long just over half an inch, and i found it in my backpack on a packet of cakes. I dont no how he got their dut whatever he is i have never seen anything like it in all my time working outdoors. he dose look a bit like a tussock moth but he did not match with his dark colours.. maybe he is a new species...
thank you for you advice it was much apreciated.

Yellow caterpillar
by: Moni

Rory
There are so many insects out there, even tho you had not seen it before, it may have been under your nose! Since I have been photographing the insects in my garden I am amazed at what is out there that I have never seen. If we had known what it ate, you could have reared it into a moth then we would know what it was for sure! :-) If you should find another, try feeding it various tree, shrub or weed leaves to see what it might like and try to rear it. Until then we will just have to keep looking and wondering.

You might enjoy this website on life cycles...it is a great asset to learn what all stages of these insects look like. It is a great help for identifying what we find. Also, it is a wonderful educational tool for learning what the food source and what conditions are needed to develop each stage for the various insects. Many are still not known.

Tussock moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Rory
While trying to ID another caterpillar I realized that your caterpillar is a tussock caterpillar. Not sure which one as I do not have good access to Ireland's moth caterpillar photos.


Therefore, with all that info I say it is definitely a tussock caterpillar.

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black headed yellow larve (Argid sawfly larva)

by Sue Perry
(LaFargeville, NY, USA)

Partying Larve

Partying Larve

What are the larve doing partying on my oak tree? What are they and will they hurt the tree?

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Argid sawfly larva
by: Moni

Sue
This is a larva of a sawfly that feeds on oak, but may also feed on other trees. These are insects that look like wasps and are in the same order as bees and wasps. They do eat the foliage, therefore they do some damage to the tree.

If you only see a few this year and do not get them every year then they will not kill the tree. Trees can take some defoliation, but not total lost of foliage every year. I would leave them alone for now...let the natural predators build up. Then in future years if you keep seeing them you could spray with the organic Spinosad if you can keep it from hitting beneficial insects like your butterflies and bees.

Thank you
by: Sue Perry

Thank you for your answer Moni. This is the first time I have seen them and I will keep my eyes peeled. So far they are only on one little spot on this tree only. I do live in a heavily wooded area so they should be able to find some other place to hatch and feed, I hope.

Thanks again, Sue

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Caterpillar (Spurge Hawkmoth caterpillar)

by Shirley Tuttosi
(Regina, SK)

This showed up on my Cyprus Spurge this fall. late September, in Regina Saskatchewan.

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spurge hawk moth caterpillar
by: Donalda

Although a close up of colour pattern is hard to see from the picture I would suggest that your caterpillar is a Spurge Hawk Moth Larva. In 1965, this caterpillar was introduced from Europe to help control the invasive exotic plant, the leafy spurge. Leafy spurge is a noxious long-lived weed on the Great Plains of the United States and the Prairie Provinces of Canada. New infestations are continuously occurring.However, the impact on the plant from the larval foliage feeding appears to be minimal.
These moths can have variations in colour from yellowish to red in the strip down their back and in the spots on their sides.There appears to be a small redish horn (all hawk moths have one) on the tail in your picture. Pictures of Two Color Morphs have been posted on this page,both species from Saskatchewan,Canada.

Spurge Hawk Moth Larva
by: Moni

It is the spurge hawk moth caterpillar.
Good job, Donalda!

spurge hawk moth
by: Anonymous

was wondering if they could sting or poison u or anything.i know they are realy aggresive and bite what ever comes close to them

Spurge Hawkmoth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
This caterpillar eats leafy spurge not humans. It does not have the muscles to bite a human. It is a sphinx moth caterpillar and is not poisonous nor dangerous. Only danger is to the spurge plant it eats.
Perhaps you are thinking of some other critter?

grapevines
by: adair

this particular caterpillar seems to also like my grape vines.i have 4 vines and they were all over them yesterday and today but maliathion kills them just fine

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brown caterpillar (Canadian Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar)

by Chesne
(Vermont)

I found this outside and Im not sure what it is. Could you help me? It has yellow things that come out of its head too.

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Canadian Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Chesne
Your brown caterpillar is a Canadian Tiger Swallowtail larva.
The mature larvae are dark green, with two spots that look like eyes on the swollen section of the body behind the head - they turn brown like yours when they are ready to pupate. Immature larvae are brown and white, resembling bird droppings.
These are found in northern US, and every province and territory of Canada.
They are found in open woodlands and adjacent areas but also in urban and suburban yards and gardens where there are lots of trees. The caterpillars feed on aspen, willow and crabapples as well as a wide variety of plants.
There is just one generation per year.
The adults feed on nectar.

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar
by: Michele - PA

Last week I found one of these caterpillars in my back yard. When I picked it up and put it onto my glove, it looked like it was bobbing his head from side to side. It gave me the impression that it was trying to look scary. You could see its two little eyes. It was very strong and wouldn't come off my glove so I left my glove in a patch of ground ivy. When I came back a couple minutes later, it was moving on.

Tiger swallowtail larva
by: Moni

Michele
Wow, what a neat experience!

It was probably heading to pupate...you will have to watch for the adult next spring!

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
by: Beth

I found one of these crawling up the side of my house today. I live in Huntsville, Alabama. I helped it on to a stick and carried it over to a tree. As I was carrying the caterpillar, it raised up on its tail and curled his head and as someone else said it was almost as if it were trying to be scary. It was actually cute... the yellow spots on the back of the head looked like little eyes...

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Beth
Cool. That is the idea behind its coloration...is to scare predators away.

Staten Island NY
by: Mrs Me

I had one in my pool today. I thought it was so cute, I made my family come look at it and when my husband took a picture of it ... it went up on it's tail and rocked back and forth. I'm glad I found this site because I had no idea what it was.

butterfly stage
by: buggy13

I found one of those last year near my house. The day after |I found it it went into its chrysalis and a little while later emerged but was injured when he came out and could not fly. when it emerges it can have a variety of shades of yellow on its wings. there are 2 generations a year mine came out midfall.

tiger swallow
by: jenna

me and my dad found it in our pool. We named him Fat Phill. We put him in a insect catcher home /hotel. We would like to see Fat Phill grow and pupate etc. What should we do?

Jenna (10yrs)

Indianna

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Jenna
Rearing 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 did or did not do...it is 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. If your caterpillar is brown then it is about to pupate.



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

You might want to find a large jar or old fashion fish bowl to raise your caterpillar in. Then the container needs to be kept someplace where the temperatures are much like outside. Keep the container covered with a thin cloth or tight screen so no other insects or animals can get in to bother it.

Since you are in Indiana where the ground freezes in winter, you will need to protect the pupa from freezing. 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 (about April or early May). That is when you would bring the pupa container outside to let it be exposed to the normal weather and let it emerge like it might if it was in Nature. When you put the container outside... in a very protected area like a porch...put 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 more internet research about rearing caterpillars.
Good luck to you and your dad!


thanks
by: jenna

thanks alot u helped alot he is in his chrysyles now.

TIGER SWALLOWTAIL CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

Jenna
Great job rearing it! This chrysalis should overwinter outside and emerge as a butterfly in the spring in Indiana.

Smelly
by: Diane

I found one of these caterpillars climbing up my back porch screen. I was so excited. I have never found a swallowtail caterpiller before. I have found alot of Monarch caterpillers.
When I went to move it into my aquarium that I use for other caterpillars.I noticed it stuck out antennas and emitted a very smelly odor.

Utah
by: Anonymous

I just found one of these as a was going for a walk. I live in Utah. I have never seen one around here before. Does anyone know if they are common for Utah?

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Utah
These are found in northern US, and every province and territory of Canada...so yes they are common in Utah.

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brown striped caterpillar (Fig Sphinx caterpillar)

by Linda Olson
(Cocoa, Florida)

I don't know if you do this anymore but I have a caterpillar that I need identified. I don't know if it will hurt my plants/garden. Can you please tell me what it is and what it eats, etc.?

It is orange on top and aquamarine color on the bottom. It is large - about 3" long and 1/2" around and there is a small horn on the rear. See attached pictures.

We live in Cocoa, Florida. The caterpillar was brought into our porch by our cats.

Thank you.

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Fig Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Linda
Yes, we ID insects year round! Insects are around most of the year especially in the southern states. And many times photos are taken in the summer, but with busy lives the photos don't always get sent right away. We are glad to Id something you may have a photo of that is not critical to your gardening but is of interest to you.
Your photo is of the fig sphinx caterpillar, Pachylia ficus. These caterpillars feed on any fig plant (Ficus spp), especially Ficus aurea. They are not considered a pest. The larva pupate in cocoons in leaf litter. There are several color 'morphs' or forms. You have the orange form.
From the size of your caterpillar, I would guess it might be ready to pupate. Some suggest that they are green and turn orange when ready to pupate. It should be put out amongst a good leafy area so it can finish its life cycle. Then perhaps you can see the moth in the spring!

This insect is most commonly seen in Central and South America, but occurs sometimes in Florida and Texas.
Great find...by your cats!
Thanks for the great photo and description!!

Thanks for the ID
by: Linda Olson

Thank you so much for the identification. We have set up "George" is an aquarium with plenty of leaf litter and hope to see him turn into a moth.

When can we expect George to emerge?

found one of these on our front porch
by: kat

here in ft. lauderdale. we placed it at the base of a big rubber plant growing outside, with orchids hanging from it's branches and small palms surrounding it. we hope it will thrive there or be able to find the kind of ficus it needs!

thank you for this site!

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Pink fuzzy caterpillar (Lycaenid butterfly caterpillar)

by Alisha
(San Diego, Ca)

Pink Caterpillar

Pink Caterpillar

Hello. We found this pretty pink caterpillar on our sidewalk today in San Diego, CA. It's about 3/4 of an inch long and has a short fuzz, almost like velvet. The only foilage near him was grass.

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WHAT IS IT?!
by: Alisha

We suspect this may be a type of Slug Caterpillar, but we're not sure, please help! =)

Lycaenid butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Alisha
Your caterpillar is in the family Lycaenidae. This family includes the hairstreak, blues and copper butterflies. Since many caterpillars in this family look similar, without actually seeing it, we can not make a more precise id.
These caterpillars and resulting butterfly are small. Depending on the species depends on what it feeds on. The food plants range from deciduous trees to curly dock, legumes, buckwheat, Ribes spp., mullein, serviceberry, etc. With most species able to eat a variety of plants.

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green body with red stripe and yellow dots (Spurge Hawkmoth caterpillar)

by Larissa Holbrook
(Anaconda, MT)

We found this in a parking lot in southwestern MT. We think it is some sort of cut worm. 3 to 4 inches long. Mostly green body with a darker red stripe down the back and fainter red stripes down sides of the body. Yellowish dots banding the body. 1/4 inch spike on the back towards the end that is red with a black tip.

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Spurge Hawkmoth caterpillar
by: Moni

Larissa
Your photo is of a Spurge Hawkmoth caterpillar. The description of the tail tells us it is a hornworm family - sphinx moth caterpillar. And the photo and description let us know it was a spurge hawkmoth. The caterpillars vary a little in color but always have the double row of white spots down the sides. As expected the larva feed on spurge.
The adult moths feed on flowers using a long proboscis feeding tube. They fly during the day and at night and look a little like small hummingbirds.

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four inch orange caterpillar (Pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar)

by Virginia
(Brockville, Ontario)

giant orange caterpillar

giant orange caterpillar

At least four inches long and 5/8 inches in diameter, this orange caterpillar was found September 6, 2009 crawling along a log step towards a steep and weedy gully in granite rock, on the bank of the St. Lawrence River at Brockville. This caterpillar is strong and muscular, and leaps back onto its four pairs of "feet" if turned over. Has a marking like a single "eye" on its rear end, and five white splotches with dark centres on each side of its body. We have ten pictures altogether, including shots of the head end which is covered with little freckles as though it had been sprinkled with black pepper.

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Pandorus Sphinx
by: Anonymous

Eumorpha Pandorus sphinx moth larva, can be either green or orange, wears a horn on the end of the abdomen which is replaced by a button in the last instar. Feeds on Virginia Creeper. See Wikipedia entry for more photos.

Pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Virginia
As who ever anonymous is said it is a Pandorus Sphinx caterpillar and yes they come in several colors of not only orange and green but reddish and brownish. And yes the last instar or molted stage of the larva loses its tale and has an eye spot in its place. Sphinx larva in general are called the horntail larva since they have a tail.

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 like that at this time of year, they are on their way to find a place to pupate. They overwinter as pupa.

Pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Virginia
As who ever anonymous is said it is a Pandorus Sphinx caterpillar and yes they come in several colors of not only orange and green but reddish and brownish. And yes the last instar or molted stage of the larva loses its tale and has an eye spot in its place. Sphinx larva in general are called the horntail larva since they have a tail.

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 like that at this time of year, they are on their way to find a place to pupate. They overwinter as pupa.

Ate an entire small grape vine overnight!
by: Anonymous

I found 2 green and one orange sphinx moth caterpillars on a small (3 stems) potted grape vine awaiting planting. Last night it was perfectly healthy and after a major rainstorm last night there they were 3 caterpillars and hardly a leaf on the stems. I have a large grape vine about 20 feet away and after careful inspection I don't see any caterpillars - only Japanese Beetles.

Pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
They are neat caterpillars, so move them to the big grapevine to protect and save your little one for planting.

Chomping on camphor in Louisiana
by: Chris

I noticed that the beautiful camphor leaves were chewed up and going fast. Our culprit was quite visible with its bright orange self. I hate to kill it, but it is only 6 feet from our two newly planted grape vines. Suggestions?

PANDORUS SPHINX MOTH CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

Chris
Perhaps there is a wooded or somewhat area nearby where there are wild grapes? Wild grapes as well as porcelain vine (Ampelopsis sp) and Virginia creeper that it eats grow in unmowed or old fence row areas. Would be great to move it there.

Not sure what plant the camphor plant is...must be a southern plant? It is not listed as a plant that this caterpillar eats. Perhaps you have a similar insect. Can you send us a photo of it?
Thanks

Sour Grapes
by: Cteph

I bought a grape ivy to create an arbour on my gazebo and fed three of these interesting chaps. My local hardware store thought they were a type of tomato worm. I live on the Canadian shield north of Kingston Ontario- first time I every met this type of caterpillar-

Found in Minnesota
by: Anonymous

I found one of these caterpillars as I was picking grapes in south central Minnesota. Not sure what to do with it, and not sure if it should be reported.

Pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Found in Minnesota
Please just leave it on the grape vines so it can finish its cycle. It will pupate in the soil when it is finished feeding and spend the winter there. Then next spring it will come out as a moth to repeat the cycle.
They are such cool beautiful caterpillars to find!

I think i found one!
by: Dan

I found what I think is one of these in the top of a 80ftbit cottonwood tree that we cut down for the gas company. How can I send in a photo to be sure because it looks a lil different?

Pandorus Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Dan
Follow the directions on this page to submit a photo

http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/insect-identification.html


BUSY HIGHWAY
by: GRAN

Only my daughter would send me a facebook message like this. "saw a huge orange caterpillar crossing the road but there was too much traffic. I slowed down so I wouldn't hit it and swerved, but just a little. It was 4" long what is it mom.
After iding it for her I told her I would be getting her a bumper sticker "I brake for caterpillars" I enjoyed your entries on pillars. When camping with all the kids, the usual cry was "Where's the killing jar" for whatever bug collection we are working on at the time.

Pandorus Sphinx Moth Caterpillar
by: stacia greene

Just found our first one with my 12 year old daughter. We were picking blueberries after a big rain storm last night. It was beautiful! We took its picture then my daughter insisted we put it back in its habitat. We were in Northwestern Louisiana in June.

Found in Randolph NY
by: Randolph

We found this little guy crossing a hot blacktop driveway 9/2/12 in Randolph, NY :) It's got very pretty coloring!!

found one in PA
by: mike

During my preparation for archery season this year I noticed this little guy climbing a cherry tree.

Beautiful Orange caterpillar
by: Casey S

Was in a holly Bush on the 28 of July 2016 in lizella Ga

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Large Green Caterpillar with Diagonal Stripes (Achemon Sphinx caterpillar)

by Justin Tremblay
(Regina, SK, Canada)

Large Green Caterpillar

Large Green Caterpillar

A large fat green caterpillar with a yellow with black dot spot on the back. Diagonal yellow stripes on side with brown spot. Also seems to have a red/purplish skin coloring on the along the top that is darker towards the front end. Any ideas what type of moth this is?

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Horn Worm
by: Anonymous

Tomato horn worm or Tobacco horn worm!!

green worm
by: artzdlfin

it's a horn worm. i found one 3" long on my tomato plant this year.

Pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Justin
This is a Pandorus Sphinx caterpillar and yes they come in several colors(someone else sent in a photo of an orange 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, this time of year, 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.

photo of a moth caterpillar
by: dorthea

Was going to send you a photo of one that we found on our Virginia creeper vine this week.

Correction: Achemon Sphinx Caterpillar
by: Caterpillar Fan

Justin
What you have found is a not a Pandorus Sphinx (Eumorpha pandorus) caterpillar, but an Achemon Sphinx moth (Eumorpha achemon) caterpillar. The two are easily confused and are closely related.
After feeding on grape (Vitis spp.) or Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) vines for about three weeks, the caterpillars wander off of the plant and roam about, seeking a spot of nice loose soil that they burrow into. This is the stage that your caterpillar is at.
It will spend the winter as a pupa in an air pocket that it creates under the soil, and the moth develops and comes out of the shell in July. The moths are quite stunning and can be seen at dusk nectaring at deep-throated flowers.
This Achemon Sphinx is much less common than its close relative, the Pandorus Sphinx. Congratulations on your impressive find.

Achemon Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Caterpillar Fan
Thanks for the correction on the ID of this caterpillar.
They are closely related and do look very similar. However if you look at the white slashes/spots along the sides of the two caterpillars, the Achemon has multiple small narrow white spots while the Pandorus has one large single white spot.
Otherwise the caterpillars are much the same...they look similar, come in various colors, feed on the same plants, lose the tail in the final stage, and burrow in the soil to pupate.

achemon sphinx
by: terra

wow, this is pretty cool. found a achemon shhinx caterpiller on my grape vine yesterday. it is HUGE! been researching it and thought it was a tobacco hornworm but has no horn, only a spot and it has 6 white lines instead of 7. (tobacco horn worms are supposed to have 7) i put it in a mason jar with grape vine and grass clippings and took it to my neighbors daughter who is 9. shes gonna take it to school with her. he was quite fiesty when i first picked him up but once in the jar he was very sluggish and still. all he wanted to do was hug the stick that was in there. any suggestions on how to tend to it as it gets ready to cacoon? do i need to put some dirt in the jar so it can bury its self? any advice would be appreciated.

Achemon sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Terra
Well, yes you can try to rear the caterpillar. If you decide to rear it, make sure you keep doing what the insect needs. Which is basically feed it grape leaves until it is ready to form a cocoon - and it is close! Then do put some light soil about a couple inches deep in the jar where it will overwinter. And leave the stick in the jar for the emerging moth to climb on.

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 insect overwinters in pupa stage...so you would not see the moth until next spring.



HERE is my general rearing comments - 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. You would put the caterpillar in a jar with a couple inches of loose soil that is barely damp. Then add leaves of its favorite plants. This jar should be covered with a paper/cloth towel to keep parasites from the caterpillar. Keep fresh leaves for it to eat. When it quits eating, it is best to provide layers of barely damp paper towels for the caterpillar to pupate in between. It may just pupate in the soil. Then, this needs to be kept someplace where the temperatures are like they are outside. Like on a porch out of direct sun. For winter, 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 jar with 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.

It is great for kids to see insect development..so hope you have good success rearing it. Send us a photo of the moth if you do decide to rear it.



Regina too!
by: WA Gardener

Justin,
2 of my neighbours found 2 of these caterpillars this morning. Thanks for posting your pic, it helped me tracked down what it was!

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big green caterpillar (Imperial moth caterpillar)

by meria salizar
(elwood, ks, usa)

it is very big and ugly. it eats grass.

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Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Meria
WoW, what a great find! I am jealous! I have seen the adults but not the caterpillar.
Your photo is of the Imperial moth caterpillar.

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 on grass and as it is getting late in the season it is probably heading to find a place in the soil to pupate for the winter.
Adult moths do not feed.

wow
by: Anonymous

I found one these things,they are very strange to say the least, we need to know if the bite and are the posionus?

Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
They bite leaves only and are not poisonous to humans.

Beautiful Big Green Caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I found it trying to crawl in the door threshold of the house. Does it make a cocoon like other smaller caterpillars and will it survive since it is fall in Texas. I still have it in an insect box with grass.

Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
It would be best to put the caterpillar outside near a wooded area that is not where people might step on it.

It is about to pupate and the Imperial Moth differ from the other Giant silkworm moth caterpillars in that they pupate in earthen cells in the ground instead of cocoons above ground.

As seen in the caterpillar in the photo of this comment section when caterpillars are fully grown, they will be 4-5 inches or more long, then begin to shrink like an accordion in preparation to changing to pupae.

It is best to put the caterpillar outside because rearing them overwinter is very hard to do...Mother Nature knows the right conditions to successfully get the moth to hatch in the spring.
Thanks for checking on this.

If you are really truly interested in rearing insects, there are several sites on the internet to learn.

Tracking the little guys...
by: Heather

Just wanted to add that we found one of these guys yesterday in our backyard. We live in a small town, along a busy main route, in New Oxford, PA. I looked online and found other pics and info on this and am excited that we got to see it up close but am sad that we wont get to watch his transformation. From what I gather he's going to borrow into the ground and not reappear until the spring. Very cool though :-).

imperial moth
by: Anonymous

I have found a pregnant Imperial moth. She laid eggs, and thay hatched today, but there not eating any of the food I gave them (I started out giving them Sassafras, once I found out they didn't even nibble on it, I put every foodplant they eat with them). they have not eaten for a whole day, what is wrong with them, and how can I make them eat.

Found one in NC
by: Anonymous

We found one on a big pine tree a few days ago, brought him/her home and he/she ate all the pine needles from the tree we brought home lickity split. His/her color went from bright green to pale green/brown so I figured he/she was dying. We put him/her in the grass near trees and now, he/she has burried his/herself almost completely! I guess he/she is getting ready to change ! How cool. We live in North Carolina and I have never seen such a BIG caterpillar!

Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous in NC
When they are huge and start turning color it usually means it is time to pupate. The other thing they do is roam around looking for a good spot to pupate.

They pupate in the soil where they stay for the winter.

I have seen a couple this week roaming so it must be that time of year...hope it does not mean this will be and early winter!

Thanks for putting it back out to do its thing. Hopefully you will see the moth next spring!

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Green caterpillar spiky (Hickory horned devil caterpillar)

by Katlyn
(Beckley,WV,USA)

It's green has a very hard outer shell. It is about 4 inches long. It appears to have black spike-like stingers on its back. It has about 16 legs. When I found it, it was crawling in the grass and leaves.

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Hickory horned devil caterpillar
by: Moni

Katlyn
Your photo is of the huge caterpillar called the hickory horned devil. It is the larva of the Royal Walnut moth, also called the Regal moth.
It really has just 6 legs, but it also has what are called prolegs on the rear end that help it to move. Prolegs are common on many caterpillars. This worm has 4 pairs of prolegs.
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 looking for a pupation site when you found it.
Tho the caterpillar looks dangerous, it is harmless.
Adult moths of this family do not feed.

(You can look at the adult on Insect Id page -
Read more: http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/large-orange-moth-regal-or-royal-walnut-moth-comments.html#ixzz0RhvDY8TP)

10/18/09
by: Brandon

I also just found one of these at my brother's football game in Columbia Station, Ohio. Thanks for posting this as it made it easy to find information on the weird caterpillar that I found!

Hickory Horned Devil
by: Moni

Brandon
Glad you were able to find the site and ID your caterpillar. They are distinctive!!!!

Awesome
by: Susie

While visiting my sister in Clarksville, Tn. We were sittting on the porch and all of the sudden she said what the ---- is that? Too my surprise I turned aroung and said I don't know. Her grandkids ran over to it and all I could say was do not touch it!!!!!
I had never in my life of 46 years, seen anything like it. I was afraid to touch it let alone let them, I brought it home with me and a co-worker looked it up for me at work on Monday.
After all the farmers tried to tell me it's just a tobacco worm. I told them if it was a tobacco worm it was alot bigger and evil looking than I had ever seen. Needless to say, us ladies figured it out......well one of us, I just kept telling them it was big and mean looking and at the same time awesome looking. I would like for my nephew to try to raise it, as he is very smart. Any suggestions of how to care for it would be much needed and appreicated. Thanks to each and everyone of you whom put this information online for people like myself to be able to identify with.

Hickory horned devil caterpillar
by: Moni

Susie
No matter how smart someone is 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. It is best to provide layers of barely damp paper towels for the caterpillar to pupate inbetween. 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.

Hickory Horned Devil Caterpillar
by: Chris

I found one of these guys today! And little did I know the unique life they have! After learning about them, I found that he's in his last stage so I provided some dirt. He quickly burrowed. So I hope to take good care to see him emerge next year! Any tips? Keep the soil somewhat moist? I may bring it indoors, what's best? Also, how deep do they burrow? Want to make sure he has enough...

Hickory horned devil caterpillar
by: Moni

Chris
Below your comment is a discussion about rearing caterpillars...here is what I said.

No matter how smart someone is 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.


A feast.
by: russ

While camping in western PA at ohio pyle, i came across this caterpillar and figured it might be a good source of protein. me and a friend of mine who love watching survivorman were concerned that it might be poisonous, but after finding this site and the information on it, our worries were settled. we cooked it up on a hot rock in the fire, and had a small snack. we removed the horns though, while crispy and very tinny, it actually wasnt that terrible tasting. Great site, keep up the work!

help
by: Anonymous

does anyone now a site where i can find weird looking caterpillars

Hickory horned devil caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
Bugguide is a great source for info and photos. Try this page and see if any fit your description.
Enjoy the photos and the information.

Hickory horned devil caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I found one of these in the Ridley Creek State Park in Media, PA today. It was fascinating and I was very happy to find your picture and know what kind of caterpillar it is. It was about 5 - 6 inches long.

Hickory horned devil encounter
by: Monica Brechtel

I found one crawling on the ground near my pecan tree. It is 5.5 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide at its head. It has 8 long horns at the front thorax. I had never seen one of these before so I put it in a container with grass and a bit of water so my boys could see it. I looked it up and found out immediately that it was harmless.We brought it to school and no one had ever seen this type of caterpillar.Now I have it in a container with pecan tree leaves and we will return it to the same location I found it in. We are in Ponchatoula, La. which is about 50 miles north of New Orleans.

Purple Hickory Horned Devil
by: Anonymous

We found one here in Enoree, SC last night, August 21, 2012. I didn't know what it was until tonight. It is probably 2 inches right now, and just shed it's skin last night. I found a website that showed it at this stage, and if we can keep it alive it will grow and shed a few more time until it gets it's green color. Thought that was pretty interesting, and my kids are enjoying it.

Hickory horned devil caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
Good luck with your rearing project! It is great to involve you children in watching nature...thank you for keeping their interest in our natural world alive!

Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thank you!
I believe it has gone through its final instar. It is HUGE...and green/turquoise already. We were going to let it go, but I think since we've come this far we will get soil for it to burrow in and keep it with us until it hatches. We have had experience with other moths, but never any that burrowed. I'm excited though, and have researched a lot to know what to do. I'm looking forward to it! The kids are too. We do like exploring nature and learn a lot. My oldest daughter, especially, likes finding new, and weird things like me. We have all learned a great deal from observation.

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All Black Woolly Caterpillar (Tiger Moth Caterpillar)

by Brigid
(Texas)

All Black Caterpillar

All Black Caterpillar

I found this caterpillar in a garage on the concrete floor in Port O'Connor, Texas which is on the Texas Gulf Coast.

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Tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Brigid
Since your photo is of the bottom side of the caterpillar, and you do not say how big it is, it is hard to confirm which one this is. It is one of the tiger moth caterpillars.
In the winter these caterpillars hibernate. So, it found a spot in your garage or crawled in there looking for a place to hibernate for the winter. It is probably the giant leopard moth caterpillar if it is large and long(2-3" rather than 1").
Do you see red/orange between the segments when it stretches out?
If it does not stretch out when warm, then it might be parasitized by wasp or fly larva. When parasitized they tend to crunch up...they also do this when cold and hibernating.

If you have more size and color info or another photo view please let us know.
Thanks

all black catipiller
by: Anonymous

acording to my granddad that means we are in for a long hard winter. You will find that in farmers almanac also, the longer the brown the shorter the winter. But my mother was here last week when my daughter found an all black one and she brought it to me and told me grandma said that we were in for a long hard winter,.

Giant Leopard moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous - all black catipiller:
Don't believe there is any scientific research to support the theory that all black banded woolly bear caterpillars predict the winter.
And tho I have not heard back from Brigid about size and coloration of her caterpillar, this is not one of the banded woolly bear caterpillars the the myth is about. It is probably the giant leopard moth caterpillar.

I saw a giant leopard moth caterpillar roaming around Dec 1 here in SE Iowa on that warm sunny day.

found one too
by: Anonymous

The kids found one just like this one. We live in Memphis and its January. We have it in a jar. It is easily 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. All black---no bands of color. I put some water drop and leaves in the jar. Can the kids keep and watch it or should we put it back in the yard?

Tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
It is great to show the kids what insects are all about, so I would encourage you to try to rear this caterpillar.
Without a photo to know for sure which one you have it is a little hard to tell you what to feed it. But I will base the information on the chance that it is probably the giant leopard moth caterpillar or a related tiger moth caterpillar.

Depending on the age of your kids, you should have them do some research on how to rear it!!

Have them take photos of the caterpillar and the rearing container. Notes about what they did? How they kept it? Photos of the cocoon and moth and all the stages of the process.

Here are some starters for you.
First - It is too early even in Memphis for this caterpillar to be ready for final rearing. They do move around with a warm spell, but then go back into hibernation with more cold weather. So, put it in a jar/ plastic container layered between paper towels with just a drop or two of water...only enough that it won't dry out.
Second - Set the jar outside in a very protected place. These caterpillars overwinter as caterpillars in mulch, leaves, under logs or in wood piles, etc. You might cover the jar with leaves or wood chips to prevent it from getting too warm too early.
OR - You could put the container in the refrigerator until May.

The giant leopard moth caterpillar eats many things, most are weeds. I kept one a short time feeding it dandelion leaves. So when there are some dandelion leaves starting to grow, you could start to bring the caterpillar slowly into warmer temps, feeding it until it forms a cocoon.
Then wait for the moth to appear. The moth will need something to perch on while it fills its wings out, so when it is in the cocoon, putting a stick for it to hold on to or something like that in the container is a good idea. Make sure the container is large enough for the moth to emerge and fill out.

NOTE - Unfortunately, many caterpillars have been parasitized by other insects. When this happens it may grow and develop as far as the last stage of caterpillar or even the cocoon but dies before it can emerge as a moth. Many times you will see flies or wasps in the container that came out of the larva. It is not easy to rear moths from caterpillars because of this. Trying to provide conditions to imitate Nature is not easy and may provide unsuccessful results...but it is worth the try!!

Normally around May, spring brings warm weather and the caterpillars again become active, feeding for a brief time and then forming cocoons out of silk and body hairs. Tiger moths usually emerge from cocoons two to three weeks later.
If this is too much, put it back outside in a protected area and just look it up on the internet. That way they still learn about what they have found! :-)
Good luck! And let us know how it is doing!

The weird catipiler I Found
by: Anonymous

I am 8 years old my name is kyler today may 13,2010 i was plouing my garden and i found a black wooly catipilar in the garden.

Tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Kyler
It is great that you looked up the caterpillar that you found. Now you know what it is!
Thanks

i found one:)
by: TXboy

are these poisonous? i would assume its not because im sure someone would have said something in the previous comments. i found one on our back porch and it was huge! it was about 2 inches long and the biggest caterpillar that i have ever seen. (i haven't seen too many caterpillars in my life) and it was really fat and super hairy it was pretty cool to see.

Tiger Moth Caterpillar
by: Moni

TXboy
As you expected, no, they are not poisonous...just cool neat large caterpillars!

Caterpillars not forming cocoons?
by: Cynthia

We live in MN and have had a warmer than normal fall. Despite that, the dandelion leaves have all but withered away and I'm finding it hard to find food to feed our jarred friend. It's late October and our caterpillar is still roaming around the jar - I would have thought he'd have formed a cocoon by now. Is there anything to do to encourage this? I hate to have him starve before then!

Giant leopard moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Cynthia
According to Bugguide "Spends the winter as a caterpillar (Caterpillars of Eastern Forests(1) says it overwinters August to May - presumably this varies by location). "
So it will not pupate now. With warm weather it will continue to eat, so here is the list of plants for the giant leopard caterpillar - broad-leaved plants, including banana, cabbage, cherry, dandelion, maple, orange, sunflower, violet, and willow.
You could always release it to feed and overwinter on its own.
With the cold front coming in at the end of the week, it will slow down on eating!! Winter is getting closer.

What should I feed my Tiger Moth until I can release it?
by: Tiffany

Help! We found a Wooly Bear caterpillar in early October and followed instructions to keep him over the winter. Unfortunately, we must have kept him too warm, because he made a cocoon a couple of weeks ago. Today we have a healthy Tiger Moth! The kids are so excited, but I can't find ANY info. on how to keep the moth alive until it is warm enough to release it. What should I feed it? ~Tiffany

Tiger Moth
by: Moni

Tiffany
The moths of tiger moth caterpillars do not feed on anything. Their job is to lay eggs and without a mate that will not happen either...well sometimes if it is a female she might lay eggs but they will not be fertilized so they will not hatch.
If you keep the moth cool it will last longer...I am guessing between 50-60 degrees. It's metabolism will be slow so it will live longer...but doubt that it will make it to spring unless you live in the deep south.

Sorry...just enjoy getting to rear the caterpillar into a moth...that is success in itself!! Take photos so the kids will have the success to remember.

Some moth species feed on nectar (sugar water) but this one does not. So let the kids learn about different moth diets perhaps.

Los Angeles Wooly Cat.
by: Sean A.

I found a dark brown wooly caterpillar crawling across my porch and jarred him right up. I had never seen one like this before. I fed it some Swiss Chard leaves from my mom's garden and at first it just seemed to eat and poop. On the evening of the second day I noticed a web-like covering around him. By the next morning, Buck, (his name) was fully surrounded by his new cocoon. Now we wait and hope for the best.

TIGER MOTH CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

Sean
Send us a photo of the moth you get!

Black fuzzy caterpillar with red skin (South Central Texas)
by: Rhonda

These critters remind me of the Wooly Bears I used to find in Ohio, but without the reddish brown hairs - all black. I find these guys on the balcony in my dahlia containers EVERY DAY!! The caterpillars are generally 1 1/2 - 2 inches long and eat like crazy!! I've lost one dahlia in a week, and pick at LEAST three out of my plants daily. They leave little round green poops everywhere! LOL!! I would like to raise one in a jar myself, but don't know the first thing about it (other than they love dahlias). Any advice?

tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Rhonda
Not sure what you have is this caterpillar. This caterpillar should be ready to pupate if it has not already and turned into a moth.
You could send us a photo of your caterpillar so we can best tell you what it is and how to grow it.


The giant leopard moth caterpillar eats many things, most are weeds. I kept one a short time feeding it dandelion leaves. So when there are some dandelion leaves starting to grow, you could start to bring the caterpillar slowly into warmer temps, feeding it until it forms a cocoon.
Then wait for the moth to appear. The moth will need something to perch on while it fills its wings out, so when it is in the cocoon, putting a stick for it to hold on to or something like that in the container is a good idea. Make sure the container is large enough for the moth to emerge and fill out.

NOTE - Unfortunately, many caterpillars have been parasitized by other insects. When this happens it may grow and develop as far as the last stage of caterpillar or even the cocoon but dies before it can emerge as a moth. Many times you will see flies or wasps in the container that came out of the larva. It is not easy to rear moths from caterpillars because of this. Trying to provide conditions to imitate Nature is not easy and may provide unsuccessful results...but it is worth the try!!
Normally around May, spring brings warm weather and the caterpillars again become active, feeding for a brief time and then forming cocoons out of silk and body hairs. Tiger moths usually emerge from cocoons two to three weeks later.
If this is too much, put it back outside in a protected area and just look it up on the internet. That way they still learn about what they have found! :-)
Good luck! And let us know how it is doing!""

Wooly catapillar
by: AnonymousCindi

My daughter found a black wooly catapillar that has orange rings around his body when curled up! She said they sting, is this true? We live in Cowboy Capital of the World, Stephenville, Texas!!!

TIGER MOTH CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

Cindi
If it is a tiger moth caterpillar it will not sting.

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Fluffy white caterpillar with red feet (Spotted Apatelodes)

by Yvonne Werner
(Bridgman, Michigan, Berrien)

white furry caterpillar, red feet, white head, black belly

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Spotted Apatelodes
by: Moni

Yvonne
Your caterpillar is a Spotted apatelodes. This caterpillar looks a lot like the American dagger moth larva but the red feed give it away!
These are found around wooded areas. Larvae feed on ash, cherry, maple, and oak.


Yellow - NOT white
by: Guss Morey

I found one of the identical description with the exception - it is Yellow, red feet and all, and a beautiful yellow to boot !!!!

Spotted Apatelodes
by: Moni

Guss
They do come in yellow also. It is the yellow form that I have seen. Very pretty!

help me
by: Erin

My son found a caterpillar just like this one, white and fluffy at the park. he held it for some time, then became VERY itchy,,,and broke out in a rash...he was crying because it hurt so bad....i heard they shoot their hair out as a deffence type thing...my son was telling me he was shedding,,,but i didnt think anything of it....help,,,what happened...

Spotted Apatelodes
by: Moni

Erin
This caterpillar is not known to cause an irritation or rash.

It may have been the Hickory tussock -known to cause rashes or the American dagger caterpillar(which is also not known to cause rashes).


Perhaps the caterpillar was a Puss or flannel moth caterpillar. They are known to be a problem


On some of these sites they suggest using tape to get the hairs off the skin. And treatment of sting areas with ice packs or ammonia may give some relief from pain. However, for severe reactions, victims should promptly seek medical attention.

lucky in ohio
by: Anonymous

my 4 year old daughter and I found a catapillar like this white furry one, it's belly was bright green. We both touched and held it. I didn't realize these creatures were noted to be poisonous After having no reaction, I am sure he was not poisonous. He was gorgeous. Next time...look and no touch....lucky in Dayton, Ohio

White fuzzy catapiller
by: Marie in Rutland, Vermont

Hi this is the first year we have seen so many white fuzzy caterpillars. They stick to our screen porch - they are on the ground. Are these harmful. They are the cutest things with long black antlers 2 up front and 2 in back. My cats don't bother with them at all. Does this mean anything about the weather forecast for the up coming winter up north here?

Spotted Apatelodes
by: Moni

Marie in Rutland
As I wrote below...This caterpillar is not known to cause an irritation or rash.

Spotted Apatelodes
by: Moni

Marie
No, caterpillars do not comment on the weather. There are old sayings that the banded woolly bear caterpillars tell about the degree of severity of the winter weather by the width of black versus brown striping, but it is all a myth.

spotted apatelodes
by: Anonymous

Mom and i spent a while trying to identify this beautiful yellow catipiler.. Now that we know what he is what does he morph into???

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Black Body, orange back and front with balck and white fuzz (Ranchman's tiger moth caterpillar)

by Corban
(Blackfoot Idaho)

It was found on a camp ground sitting on a dry pile of cow dung. In Blackfoot Idaho.
It has a black body with the front and back portions Brownish Orange. Cartepillar has fuzzy black and white hair and your skin feels like it is being stung when it is placed on your palm. We found them in a pair and my 6yr old had to bring it home to watch it form a cacoon.

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Ranchman's tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Corban
Your caterpillar is a Ranchman's tiger moth larva. The adult is gorgeous!
There are many tiger moths, but this larva is very identifiable. The larva of most tiger moths are known as wooly bear caterpillars. They eat a variety of plants. If you are going to rear this one to pupa, you will need to provide enough fresh food that the caterpillar likes to eat. It is best to keep the foliage stems in water to keep them fresh. Look for food that was found in the area where you found the caterpillar for feeding. If it does not like one plant, keep trying.
Some studies suggest a mixed diet is best and more common for this caterpillar in the later stages.

This caterpillar is found in the upper western states especially west of the Rockies.
Good luck with your rearing project!

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orange with long black hair (Oleander caterpillar)

by SUE
(WEST PALM BEACH, FL)

can you tell me what kind of caterpillar this is and what does it turn in to?

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Oleander caterpillar
by: Moni

Sue
Your caterpillar is a tiger moth called the oleander caterpillar. The moth is also called the polka-dot wasp moth. This caterpillar feeds on oleander and devil's potato. It is found in scrub woodlands, fields, and other open areas of Florida. Mature caterpillars are found year round.
It turns into a striking moth that is black with white spots. This is one of the day flying moths (most moths fly at night). Adults feed on nectar of flowers especially asters.

In light to moderate caterpillar infestations, damage to leaves is seen as small holes chewed between leaf veins. In severe cases this caterpillar can strip the shrub of leaves and small stems in a short time period. However,

Read more: http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/blackblue-flies-with-white-spots-and-orangered-rears-oleander-moths-comments.html#ixzz0aq9husUc


Oleander caterpillar
by: SWFL

These guys can destroy an oleander in days. I have to pick them off or I would never get a bloom. Never thought I would hate to see a caterpillar, but these changed my mind. I spray them with a watered down dog flea shampoo to get them off my bush.

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Tiny Orange-Red Pincher Worm (Beetle larva)

by Mitch
(Nashua , NH USA)

closeup

closeup

Was sitting on the couch and felt it on my neck.

.2 inches (yes 2 tenths of an inch I have a picture of it on a ruler that measures hundreths of an inch) Flatish oval black head, six legs, loks like it has 67 dots on it;s back and a pincher on it's tail. It curls up when "threatened" and only crawls, no jumping or squirming. Ugly too ..ick. What is it?

Have picture of it on a ruler on request as well as another closeup.

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Beetle larva
by: Moni

Mitch
I am going to guess your larva is a beetle larva. It has all the characteristics of Tenebrionoidea subfamily of beetle larva.
These beetles are found in everything from flowers to fungi, so hard telling where it came from.
That's all I can tell you for now. I will keep looking and see if I can ID it further.

caterpillar
by: caroline

hey just been searching all over, found one of these in my garden today, what will it turn into, do you know? actually my border terrier benji found it, and still wants it.

beetle larva
by: Moni

Caroline
Is your worm 2 tenths of an inch long? If you could get a photo of it and submit it, it might help us better ID what this critter is.
Thanks

Found in my home
by: Hayley

Hi - have you been able to ID this further? I'm curious aout what type of beetle this is.

beetle larva
by: Moni

Hayley
There have not been any more photos posted that give a clearer view of this critter or one like it, so a better ID is not possible.
If you have a photo please submit, then perhaps we can figure out what folks are finding.
Thanks

Beetle larva
by: Moni

Anonymous
Your larva is not the same. Yours has not only the front 6 legs but also legs towards the rear end called prolegs. This means it is the larvae of a moth or butterfly. Also with the rear end smashed a little it is hard to tell but does not seem to have the pincers either. Many moth caterpillars have rear legs that kind of stick out to hold them to branches, that could look kind of like pincers.

Since the larva is so small and we do not know what it was feeding on...it is hard to tell what it is.
You found it on your pant leg...then where were you to pick up a caterpillar...around what kind of plants?

To know what it is you would have to rear it and to do that you have to know what it eats.

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green with black spike at read end (Sphinx caterpillar)

not very big and doesnt move very fast

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Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Your photo is of a sphinx caterpillar. Not for sure which one. I would need a pic of more of it's details - head color, side view, size, what it was eating - to know which one.
Sphinx larva all have the 'tail' as a id characteristic, which is where they get the common name of hornworms. They feed on plant foliage and then pupate in the soil. The most common hornworm is the tomato hornworm that is common in most gardens usually found on tomatoes, potatoes or sometimes peppers.
The adults are moths that usually fly at night.

Waved Sphinx
by: Anonymous

I also found this same caterpillar, I believe it is a Waved Sphinx.

Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Well it does not look like the waved sphinx from the photos I could find. The closest I could find...based on the black line on the tail, would be Sphinx luscitiosa, Clemens sphinx. In the photos I found for this caterpillar had a black line on tail in 5th last instar. As this caterpillar was moving slow. That indicates it was moving to find a place to pupate...so would be a last instar larva.

Fawn Sphinx
by: Jesse

It is rather hard to tell without seeing the head I guess. I do believe you are right though, I do see a little blue in the tail on this picture but it's not close enough. My Laural had More yellow under the black stripes and also had the thick black stripes on it's head, which I see now a Clemens does not! I do not know much on these things admittedly.

Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Jesse
Without a good full body photo including the head it is hard to tell on the sphinx caterpillars. That is part of the problem of trying to ID with even just a photo... We can sometimes get close and many times that is enough. There are many folks out there rearing larva so we will know what all stages look like. But there are so many insects and so little time!?!

Thanks!
by: Jesse

So true! That is cool that people are doing that with the larva.

Thanks for the link also.

Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Jesse
The buglifecycle site under MJ's photos there is a Fawn sphinx...it does kind of look like that one in later stages.

Tracking the little guys...
by: Heather

Just wanted to write that Im almost positive that it was this caterpillar that was in our yard the other day. We live in a little town off a very busy main route, in New Oxford PA. I had the kids put it in the neighbors tree (lilac i think), so we didnt step on it. I looked at the link someone posted and Im pretty sure it was this one with the green body and that little spike at the end.

Sphinx caterpillar in Algonquin Park
by: Dr. Chris

We recently (Sept 6, 2010) saw one of these beautiful caterpillars in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada. What a specimen! Does anyone know what in metamorphosizes into?

Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Dr Chris
This caterpillar will turn into a sphinx moth..

All of the Sphinx moths have the pointed wing characteristic...the wing patterns vary depending on which species it is. The green sphinx caterpillars look similar so without more photo angles or seeing the caterpillar in person it is hard to tell species from just one photo.

Found in Bladen County Near Clarkton NC
by: PEGGY MONROE

I was just out clearing some grass and weeds near my hedges and found this big fat lime green caterpillar and it's head is big with black marks for eyes and sparsely spaced black marks on body and thorn on it's tail. Actually looks like a animated or cartoon character in one of those Disney movies. I was looking for a species to identify it and the Sphinx is the closest to what it looks like. I took a picture on my camera phone and want to take the worm to a local Middle School science dept

Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Peggy
If you want to send in the photo perhaps we can tell which sphinx caterpillar it is...tho without knowing what it was eating it may be hard to know without seeing it in person or rearing it to the moth.
Hope the science class enjoys it!

sphinx
by: Anonymous

It could be a tabacco Hornworm Moth, ( Hawkmoth)Also called a Carolina sphinx. it will eat anything in the nightshade family.

Green neon black horn caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I found one in my yard when I was gardening...

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Black Spikey & Orange Stripes (Giant Leopard moth caterpillar)

by Michele
(Central Florida)

Spikey Black Insect

Spikey Black Insect

It curls into a ball when startled, has orange stripes you can only see when it curls up, and its spikes seem to be in clusters, but plentiful. It was found in Central Florida on our deck. The feces seem to be awfully large compared to the insect's body...

We removed it from the deck for fear it would be poisonous to our dogs, but want to release it if it is not poisonous.

Doug says we may need to get a bit better focused shot of this but I'm going to let Moni try it anyway. If you have a problem M - let me know.

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Giant Leopard moth caterpillar?
by: Moni

My quick response is that it looks like the larva or caterpillar of the Giant Leopard moth. The ones we have up north have red between the spines rather than orange, so I will need to do some further looking.
But I wanted to let you know it is OK to let it back outside. It will not hurt the dog...the dog will know to stay away from such a spiny thing. The spines do not sting.
Here in the Midwest our caterpillars are the stage that overwinters...I just saw one earlier this week when we had a short warm spell and it fell out of some straw I was putting on the strawberries.
Will check on the coloring and get back to you about the exact species.
Thanks for sharing such a neat critter!

Thank you
by: Michele

Thank you for your quick response. Of course, I think the caterpillar is a thousand times more thankful than I am, since he is now back outside in his natural environment.

Tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Well, after continuing the search, I will stick with this probably being the Giant Leopard moth larva tho it could be the Agreeable Tiger Moth caterpillar which has more yellow colored stripes.

Giant Leopard Moth it is!
by: Michele

After looking at the links you provided, the coloring on the agreeable moth doesn't look as much like what the caterpillar in question looked like in real life (sorry that my image wasn't better).

I've never seen a leopard moth before... how cool to find its larva!

Giant leopard moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Thanks Michele for checking.
Great to know what it is. Some of the images did look more orange than red and most of those were caterpillars in the south...so may be a regional difference.
Most references say that sometimes you see the male moths at lights, but the females do not come to lights. There were several caterpillars in my yard this fall but I did not see the moths at my porch lights this summer either.
In the south, you should have two generations of this insect. Perhaps you will see more this next year!

caterpillar
by: fcdgdcgf

i just was outside and saw the same exact thing. i am in maryland. i was looking all over the enternet to find this.

catapiler
by: Anonymous

i have the same one to. how do i now if it is dangerous

Giant Leopard moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Dear Anonymous
As I state in the very first comment(see bottom of comment page) The spines do not sting.
Therefore it is not dangerous.
There are a few caterpillars that do have spines that can sting if handled. If you don't handle them then you don't have to worry about it. :-)

jackson michigan
by: Anonymous

My granddaughter just showed me a black with red/orange stripes and puffs of black spikes. I have never seen one of these before.

this caterpillar scared my dog
by: Anonymous

I had to look this one up too last year-and found that it was a leopard moth caterpillar. I heard my dog barking like crazy and I went outside to see what the big emergency was. He looked like he was barking and angry at the ground-then I saw this giant fat, fuzzy thing making its way across the patio. My dog (a pitbull by the way) was scared and barking at a caterpillar. I moved it to the garden.

GIANT LEOPARD MOTH CATERPILLAR
by: sara

is this caterpillar poisoness? we have one caterpillar and it chows down on leaves like theres no tomorrow! Like i said is he poisness? Just wondering!!! =]

Giant Leopard moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Sara
The spines do not sting and the caterpillar is not poisonous.

Leopard Moth??!!
by: Anonymous

I just found one and it looked so threatening and poisonous so I wanted to check and found your website on Google and wanted to check it out thanks for all the great info BYE!!

Giant Leopard Moth Caterpillar
by: Laura

I just found one in my yard! I didn't want to touch it so i put it in a bowl to get a closer look. then I looked on the net for pix of what it will look like and they are very pretty! I have never saw anything like it before!!

Giant Leopard Moth
by: mournblade

The initial comment said that a specimen was found in central Florida. I'm in central Pennsylvania, and I just found the same thing in my back yard this evening. I have NEVER seen one like this, and I've lived all 40 of my years here.

Cool caterpillar, regardless. Oh, and great website--glad I found this!

Giant Lepaord MOth Catepillar
by: tj

I found one on my dirveway in Stroud, Oklahoma this weekend didnot pick it upas didnt not know what it was. It was in defense mode and I had never see it. It was actually pretty very black and bright orange rings. I went out to get it and it was gone. Never seen one before.

Overwintered our minus 21 degrees!
by: SunflowerPower

Mar.25, 2011: have just found a huge bristly caterpillar among some rocks and weeds I was clearing; with dark orange/red bands between. It is very sluggish, but not surprising as we had a record-breaking minus 21 deg. in Jan. here in SE Kansas. I have never seen a Giant Leopard Moth but will be watching this summer. I will photograph it and let it go near our lilac bushes.

GIANT LEOPARD MOTH CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

SunflowerPower
It is amazing the temperatures they can live thru. Hope you get to see the moth. Most moths come to lights around 11-12pm at night...so you might need to stay up to see one.
Good Luck!

How to care for my leopard moth caterpillar
by: Kaden

I am 10 yrs old & always loved animals & insects. My mom would help me find caterpillars & watch them grow from caterpillars to moths or butterflies. I found a leopard moth caterpillar in my yard and want to know what to feed him so I can watch him change from a caterpillar to a moth or butterfly. Thanks for your information!

Leopard moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Kaden
Glad you have reared some other caterpillars, then you know some of the following. Here is my standard answer for 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.



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 to imitate the cold of winter if the insect over winters as a pupa. 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. Put 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.

Leopard moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Kaden
Forgot to tell you what they eat :-)
The larvae feed on a great variety of broad-leaved plants, including banana, cabbage, cherry, dandelion, maple, orange, sunflower, violet, and willow. Dandelion should be easy to find but do not feed them leaves treated with pesticides.
Bugguide.net 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." You do not say where you live so I do not know if this caterpillar is 1st generation...you perhaps live in southern United States?

A real Pest
by: Guy from Trinidad and Tobago

These things are a real pest in the Caribbean, some are even know to carry a virus, so if you get stung; seek help.

They are really ravenous and eat most fammers crops. And when after they molt, the moth that forms kills of tomato plants.

They may look pretty, but can be a real pest if you're a farmer and home farmer.

Please be careful...

Guy from Trinidad and Tobago

Giant leopard moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Guy from Trinidad and Tobago
Not sure what insect you have in Trinidad and Tobago that looks similar, BUT this caterpillar does NOT sting...it is NOT a pest...does NOT eat tomatoes here in North America.
We do not have good references for caterpillars nor pests of Trinidad and Tobago, so we can not help you ID your caterpillar. Would suggest you contact the local Agriculture department.

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yellow caterpillar (Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar)

by debbie
(middletown,ny, us)

around 2inches long. black spots like eyes seen in orange county ny

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Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Debbie
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 eyespots - 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.


yellow caterpillar with eyes?
by: cathy

i found the same caterpillar in norwich ct.this guy popped out of the dirt while i was planting flowers glad i found out what it is thanks

Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Cathy
If you found it in the soil it may be trying to pupate. Best to leave it be and let it do its thing. :-)
Thanks for sharing your find.

awesome looking
by: Anonymous

I found one in shephardstown, wv. Though this one was cool because it reared back showing its eyes like a snake as a defense mechanisum.

WOW
by:

I found this caterpillar in Michigan. I have never seen a caterpiller that looks like this and am glad to finally know what kind it is.

wow
by: Anonymous

I found this in Pennsylvania. It was the oddest caterpillar I have ever seen so I took a picture on my phone. But nobody believes me that its real so I'm glad to find out what it was.

i found one
by: brandi

i have one my dad found it crowling up my house in Manchester Kentucky on June 23,2011,i have photo of it to on my face book page.

rare caterpillar?
by: Anonymous

saw this in pittsburgh ,pa. on 6/29/11 with 3 other guys. we all admitted to have never seen this before.it looked like a cartoon character with two big eyes and what looked like a big smile. but just like the other comment when you touched it ,it reared back like a snake ready to strike.pretty neat!

SPICEBUSH SWALLOWTAIL
by: Moni

Anonymous
No it is not rare...just cool!! Glad you all got to see how amazing Mother Nature is! There are many cool insects if we just look for them :-)

I planted a spicebush in hopes of getting them in my garden!!

Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
As stated in the comment at the bottom of the comment page -
"The last two instars are green with large eyespots - 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. "

Cartoon character or caterpillar?
by: Karen

My family found one on a recent trip to Splish Splash water park on Long Island. We named him Stinky and he stayed on the handle of our beach cart for a good part of they day. We all agreed to place him in a safe spot away from foot traffic before we left. Thank you for providing an excellebt site to us identify our new friend.

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orange caterpillar

by R L
(il)

orange caterpillar

orange caterpillar

hairy orange caterpillar. found in the rainforest of bolivia.

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Hope it stays there.
by: Anonymous

Beautiful, but i bet it can make a good meal out of a tomato plant.

WOW
by: Debby

yes..but what does it turn into???

double wow
by: Anonymous

i hope we don't eradicate it to

Orange moth caterpillar
by: Moni

That would be quite the caterpillar to see. Beautiful!
My guess is this a moth caterpillar, but without books or good websites from Bolivia we can not identify this one for you.

hairy orange caterpillar
by: Anonymous

I found the same exact specie in the Philippines

Tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
This caterpillar is not native to North America so we do not know for sure what it is. Because it is so fuzzy we guess it is one of the tiger moth caterpillars. These are in the family Erebidae. Beyond that we can not identify it...unless you send us a caterpillar ID book from Bolivia or the Philippines :)

poof
by: Anonymous

It looks like a huge puffball or a half sun. How would it hide?

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Fuzzy Caterpillar (Banded tussock caterpillar)

by Kellie
(Valdosta, GA, USA)

Saw this brown fuzzy caterpillar with black and white "spikes" on my moms car in South Georgia. Found a couple that look similar, but not exact. Just wondering what the pretty little thing is called

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Banded tussock caterpillar
by: Moni

Kellie
Your caterpillar is the larva of the Banded tussock moth.
The larva are seen in the south usually from July to October...when did you see this one??
This caterpillar is one in the Tiger moth family - Arctiidae, not the true tussock moth family - Lymantriidae.
This caterpillar has two generations in the south so this is the last generation of the year. They eat alder, ash, birch, chestnut, blueberry, grape, elm, hazel, hickory, oak, poplar, tulip tree, walnut, willow as well as a few other trees and shrubs. This insect overwinters as pupa in a cocoon that is covered with the hairs.
Here are images of the moths so you can see what the adult looks like. You may see them at lights at night in the summer.

If you have photos of the other caterpillars we could try to ID them also...if they look much different other than color - gray, dirty tan to yellow-brown are the other variations of this one then you may have other species.

Myrtle Beach
by: Gail

Just saw one of these on my picnic table here in Little River, SC, just north of Myrtle Beach. I have tulip trees and Oakes in my yard and not too keen on these guys feasting on my trees!

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Greenish caterpillar (Tolype moth caterpillar)

by Roger Hutch
(Mentor, OH)

Found in Mentor, OH 44060 this last summer. I have been unable to ID it through various other sites with ID guides.

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Tolype moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Roger
What a cool caterpillar! It looks like you have one of the Tolype moth caterpillars. The moths of these caterpillars are as neat looking as the larva!
Larvae of T. velleda feed on leaves of hardwood trees, while larvae of several other Tolype species feed on conifers. I am not sure which Tolype you have as there is some variation in color.

Here are some photos of the genus Tolype caterpillars. Since you saw the worm in person you might be able to figure out which species, but it is one of the Tolype's. At this site you can click on adult or both and see what the moth looks like. The moths come to lights at night so perhaps you will see it this next summer.


I found the moth of Tolype velleda on my porch this past summer, but have not see the caterpillar yet.

I never saw this critter when we lived in Columbus, OH....Great find!

Thank you Moni!
by: Roger

Thanks for identifying this caterpillar. I had looked all over the web and could not find a match (that's a lot of mouse clicking!). I really appreciate your help and time in solving this "case"! :)

Tolype moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Roger
Glad we could help. If you find more interesting insects this year, we can help you Id them.
What a neat find!

Tolype moth
by: Kristen

Are the hairs on Tolype moths dangerous?

Tolype moths
by: Moni

Kristen
There are several caterpillars that cause a rash or irritate skin but I do not know of any moths that cause a problem. The Tolype caterpillars are not known to irritate skin either

These are such cool looking moths...look kind of like teddy bears to me :-)

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Big Yellow Creature (Spicebush swallowtail prepupa)

by Caralyn
(Orlando, Florida)

I found this creature outside on my porch screen. As you can tell from the picture, it is a bright yellow with grayish spots (about 40 of them) and big black eyes. On the underside of the bug it seems to have a suction (no noticable legs).

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Spicebush swallowtail prepupa
by: Moni

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

Then after about 2 weeks you will see a beautiful black with blue highlights butterfly emerge.
Caterpillar:

First three instars resemble a bird dropping. Last two instars are green with large eyespots - 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.


Caterpillar hosts: Spicebush, Sassafras trees, Red, Swamp and Silk Bays; perhaps prickly ash , Tulip tree , Sweetbay , and Camphor.
Adult food: Nectar from Japanese honeysuckle, jewelweed, thistles, milkweed, azalea, dogbane, lantana, mimosa, and sweet pepperbush.

Adults 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. Some chrysalids from each generation hibernate.


Two Eyed Yellow Caterpillar
by: Robert

I found the Spicebush Swallowtail Prepupa in my driveway but it was hard to find the correct name for it. I thought it was very unique.

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White fuzzy caterpillar (Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar)

by Grace
(Merrillville, Indiana)

I found this caterpillar in my yard on some weed and felt it too pretty to kill so I put it in a large jar and fed it dandelion leaves. It has now formed a cocoon. I would like to know what it is because I don't want to let it out if it is of the type that will devour fruit trees, destroy the neighborhood landscaping or a forest.

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Salt Marsh Moth Caterpillar
by: Moni

Grace
Your caterpillar is a Salt March moth caterpillar. They turn into white with black dotted moths with orange abdomens.
The caterpillars are various colors - whitish to brown to black, with long bristly hairs. Larvae feed on many mostly weedy plants including pigweed, ground cherry and mallow, plus crops such as alfalfa, asparagus, bean, beet, cabbage, carrot, celery, clover, corn, cotton, lettuce, onion, pea, potato, soybean, tobacco, tomato, and turnip.
They are not considered a pest. So feel free to let it go once you have seen the moth. The male moths have colored hind wings while the female hind wings are usually white.

Minnesota
by: Alyssa

I found a caterpillar who looks just like this on a beet plant in my dad's garden. Can these live in minnesota?

Salt marsh caterpillar
by: Moni

Alyssa
Yes, these are found all thru out North America, except Alaska and Yukon.

White Virginian Tiger Moth
by: Grace

Moni,

Thanks for taking time to answer. In searching further on the Internet and comparing the newly developed moth I found, the White Virginian Tiger Moth seems a better match. The reason being: the caterpillar hairs on the Salt March caterpillar are bunched together with space between whereas this and the White Virginian Tiger Moth caterpillar hairs seem more evenly spaced. The wings on my moth didn’t have all the black spots that were on the Salt March one. It resembled the White Virginian Tiger Moth pictured on different sites. Since the White Virginian Tiger Moth caterpillars were reported to eat mostly grasses and weeds, I have let it go after taking a number of beautiful pictures.

Virginian Tiger Moth
by: Moni

Grace
Great!
The moths help a lot to identify caterpillars. With only one photo, white fuzzy caterpillars in the Arctiidae family can be challenging to positively ID. I do make mistakes! :-) Thanks for the detective work with the life cycles. The life cycles are fascinating to follow.

Y

Virginian Tiger Moth Caterpillar
by: Anonymous

This is definitely a Virginian Tiger Moth Caterpillar. I found a couple of these in my backyard. I asked my neighbor (he is an expert) and he said they were Virginian Tiger Moth caterpillars.

Pests
by: Pond owners

We found a couple of these catapillars in our pond, THEY CAN SWIM!!! They were eating our lily pads, so we killed most of them with a block of wood. Don't let it out of the jar!!!

Virginian tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Pond owners
The hairs on this caterpillar should not cause itching, but if you have very sensitive skin, it perhaps may be possible.

This caterpillar is not considered a pest and they may float on water with all of the hairs but they do not swim. The moth laid the eggs on the water lily and the caterpillar then fed on what it was given to eat. They do feed on plant foliage, but do not come in such large numbers to be considered a garden pest.

Sorry they were eating your water lilies.

Pest in the pond
by: Anonymous

This caterpillar has definitely enjoyed devouring my water lilies... I consider it a pond pest!

The ate my sunflowers!!!!!!!!!!!!
by: sunflower mourner

I have to say that I have had an incredible negative experience with this particular type of caterpillar. I am growing sunflowers from see, which are about two feet tall now. Something starting eating the living heck out of the leaves. I looked on the underside of the leaves, and bunched together in groups of 3-5 were these tiger moth caterpillars. They LOVE to eat sunflowers and I suspect a lot more. If you don't want to kill them (I did), then consider removing them by hand and keeping them as pets until they transform.

Same Caterpillar Here!
by: Karen Brittan

I just found this same caterpillar on a new yarrow plant I purchased a couple days ago. I live in Minnesota, 30 miles north of the TC in Zone 3. I am in the process of trying to identify it.

Salt marsh or Virginian tiger caterpillar
by: Moni

Karen
Let us know which one you have!?!

white caterpillars-dangerous?
by: Anonymous

are they poisonous or dangerous to children

Tiger moth caterpillars
by: Moni

Anonymous
Tiger moth caterpillars are not dangerous nor poisonous.
There are other caterpillars that can leave a rash or stinging on the skin.

Annoyed!
by: Anonymous

These little guys are destroying my shrubs! I am a first time home owner and landscaper and have been enjoying my flowers and shrubs all summer until now..I found a few the other day..removed them and got rid of them. Now they are back! They are all over my spirea shrubs. Anyone know of a good way to get rid of them?

yellow
by: Anonymous

i found one just like this but yellow with no distinct markings or other colors anywhere on its body, its just yellow and fuzzy. will it turn into a butterfly?

White Fuzzy Caterpillar
by: Mackenzie

Found one of these guys on my Green pepper plants.

Two on the Pea Vines
by: Beverly in eastern PA

I found two of these fuzzy white caterpillars on my snap pea vines. At first I thought I was seeing a small, downy feather sitting on a lower leaf. At the other end of the trellis I saw an identical feather and my suspicions rose. Both caterpillars were removed from the pea vines and placed a few yards away. They are fast movers!

Being an organic gardener, I am not at all tempted to destroy them or use any chemicals. This is the first time I have noticed these particular insects. I do see a new bug almost every year, though, for 25 years straight in this back yard. I consider that a bonus for no chemical use of any kind.

I found one..
by: Michael

I found one on a strawberry in my garden in early July. wasn't able to find a whole lot of info on the web to identify it. This site is very helpful.

Salt marsh caterpillar
by: Moni

Michael
Thanks, glad we could help and you found us!

That caterpillar will not eat much and is cool to have around. One caterpillar the kids can hold and enjoy its beauty ;)

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White caterpillars curled up (Sawfly larva)

by Grammadot
(Barto, PA)

Demolition Crew

Demolition Crew

White worms that glow in dim light. Voracious feeders, reduce a green-leafed Spicebush to twigs in days. Crawl out of their suits when they get too big for their britches, leave them hanging. Curl and drop when bothered. Yellow fellow is a newcomer. Thanks to anyone who helps identify them.

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Sawfly larva
by: Moni

Grammadot
Your caterpillar looks like a sawfly larva. I could not find one that specifically eats spicebush. There are some that are white in the early instars then when they molt to the last stage they are the regular yellowish with black spots.
The adults look like small wasps usually black with yellow or orange on thorax or abdomen.

Control is to pick them off or spray with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil.

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peach caterpillar butt lights up (Firefly beetle larva)

by Kimi
(St. Louis, MO)

It has 6 legs, peach in color, the body feels like a soft catapillar, its head has a shell (that flairs open when on its back as it tries to flip over) it looks like its made up of different platlets on its back but soft to the touch, when we found it, its butt (for lack of better term) was glowing like a lightning bug.

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Firefly beetle larva
by: Moni

Kimi
Thanks to the comments about the lighting up I believe you have a flrefly beetle larva. The plates on the upper surface and lighting up are the keys to its ID. There are many species of lightning bugs. Depending on the species the beetles have a different flashing pattern. If you watch the beetles at night you will see some only flash once quickly, some flash a long time, some flash twice quickly, etc.

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Caterpillar (Pandora moth caterpillar)

Green with red spiked tail and golden-brown colored spots on its side

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Tomato worm
by: Anonymous

Don't know the correct name. But we call it a tomato worm. Because that's were you usally find them on the tomato plants.

Pandora moth caterpillar
by: Moni

This is a relative of the tomato hornworm, they are called sphinx moth caterpillars in the family Sphingidae. This worm is called the Pandora moth caterpillar. It loses its tail in the last stage of being a caterpillar and can be reddish brown also.
Larva feed on plants in the Porcelain Berry and peppervine family, Ampelopsis, as well as grapes and Virginia creeper(5-leaf ivy).

It is really a beautiful moth and quite striking when it feeds on flowers on your front porch at night. (had one visit this year for the first time when I had the porch lights on)

Tobacco hornworm
by: Anonymous

The tomato & tobbaco hornworms look alike but the tobacco hornworm has a red spike, the tomato has a black spike. BTW, found one of these on a box I was throwing stuff in outside & wanted it to move cuz I wasn't sure if it stung (it doesn't). I got a video clip of this thing hollering at a high pitch every time I nudged it - too funny !!

tail or spike
by: Anonymous

I have found a similar caterpillar and think it is a ceratomia undulosa(waved spinx moth caterpillar). I was wondering is the spike on the end of it a tail or stinger?

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reddish-brown spiked caterpillar (Red Admiral caterpillar)

by Jeanette
(Markdale, Ontario, Canada)

I only saw one of these among a mass of black and yellow caterpillars that were pretty much finished munching an entire patch of stinging nettles. A beautiful red/brown colour with nasty looking spikes.

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Red Admiral caterpillar
by: Moni

Jeanette
From your description, that most of the caterpillars were black and yellow and that they were feeding on nettles, indicates that this caterpillar is probably a red admiral caterpillar. The reason it is red is that it is probably parasitized by a wasp or fly. Caterpillars that have other insects growing in them usually turn darker and a reddish or rusty color.

Do you have photos

Oooo, how exciting
by: Jeanette

Thanks so much Moni, I'm really excited about this as I love red admirals.
The other caterpillar pics were uploaded as a separate id request, I think the title was black caterpillar with yellow dashes down it's side.
Again, thanks so much, lots of info in there.

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large shiny green caterpiller (Olive green cutworm)


(stockton, ca, usa)

about 1 1/2" long, pencil width, 4 pr of prolegs, skin smooth and hairless, off white broken line down mid dorsal line with rows of thin, black slashes runnin the length of the caterpiller on each side.

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Noctuid moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Stockton
Been looking and can not find a perfect match, but your photo is of some kind of a caterpillar in the family Noctuidae. It does look like one of the cutworms, but without photos from other angles it is a guess.
This group of caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants. Some can be garden pests if several show up at the same time.

Olive green cutworm
by: Moni

Stockton
This is probably the cutworm that you have. Took me a while to find it but I think this is it.
Your caterpillar is called an olive green cutworm. It turns into a moth.
They overwinter as mature caterpillars. This insect is found in the northern states from WI and Manitoba to BC and then south to CA and AZ..not found in the eastern states.
The larvae feed on grasses especially the invasive reed canary grass.

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Red caterpillar with black hair (Tiger moth caterpillar)

by Amanda
(Texas)

Hairy red caterpillar with red feet and short black hair. Decimating a hibiscus plant in Texas.

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Tiger moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Amanda
The caterpillar is one of the tiger moths. Without views from other angles, not sure which one. A guess would be the Virgin tiger moth...but that is a guess.
If you rear it to a moth, then we would know. :-)

Caterpillars of this group of moths eat a wide variety of plants, tho none are considered garden pests. Perhaps you happened to get a moth that laid a lot of eggs on your hibiscus? Or it is the tastiest plant around?

stung
by: Skylar E.

yesterday i went ziplining with my class and , i sat on a tree . when i got up this caterpillar had already stung me . then i looked around my body and he was latched on to my uper-leg! i hit him off of me and the stings had already swelled up!

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Black caterpillar with yellow dashes on side ( Red Admiral butterfly caterpillar)

by Jeanette
(Markdale, Ontario, Canada)

Little spikes all over a black body that has yellow dashes on it's sides. These are all over a big patch of stinging nettles that they've decimated.

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Red Admiral butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Jeanette
This is the red admiral caterpillar.

These caterpillars do like to eat nettle. Great find!!
As noted in your photo of the reddish caterpillar, I think this is the way they should look while the red one was parasitized. If you look at other images on this web site you will see they do vary...as they are different colors at different stages of development.

Again, thanks
by: Jeanette

Oh my, they looked so different, I'm really surprised to find out that they are one and the same species. Some of the other caterpillars were that lovely reddish brown colour but the same yellow dashes as these black ones.
So I have lots of lovely butterflies to look forward to. Pity so many caterpillars didn't make it, they went looking for more food after the nettles were eaten. Many can be found shrivelled on our garden shed step:-(
Thanks so much.

Red Admiral butterfly caterpillar
by: Moni

Jeanette
Perhaps you should plant more nettles for them next year?! :-)
Will be interested to see if the reddish ones live into butterflies or if they are indeed parasitized?
Was it the reddish that you found on the steps or also the black ones?

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3 inch brown mottled caterpillar (giant swallowtail caterpillar)

by Melanie Allen
(Land O Lakes, FL)

looks like frog feces

looks like frog feces

I thought this was a frog dropping-but it moved. It's head come out and it's quite alarming. We found 2 others-considerably smaller-on the Rue plant near my pond in Florida. Is it good or bad?

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giant swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Melanie
From your description and photo you have a giant swallowtail caterpillars on your rue. They usually eat citrus, prickly ash, hoptree, and other plants in the citrus family. They are a wonderful find and definitely not a garden pest!
Would love to have them in my garden!!
These large butterflies feed on nectar.

Mottled Caterpillar-thanks for ID
by: Melanie

Hi! Thank you for the wonderful news. We're excited about this one!

swallowtail catapillars
by: Jeanette

we just found 3 on our little orange tree. Can we keep them in a terrarium inside until they "hatch" ? Will they freeze?
getting cold in Austin TX

giant swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Jeanette
It would be best to leave them on the orange tree. It should not get too cold for them to develop into their pupa or chrysalis stage for overwintering. Depending on your weather conditions this butterfly may grow year round in your area. I am not sure just where the southern line for those conditions would be.

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 butterfly 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.



Amazed
by: JoDena

I live near Pensacola and found several of these caterpillers on a young lemon tree. They are rather ugly to me as compared to the painted lady butterfly larve I had my granddaughters raise and release last month. I finally found a photo of Arachides Toras which is what I have in my butterfly habitat. Still wonder what they will look like when they come out of their crysilis.

GIANT SWALLOWTAIL CATERPILLAR
by: Moni

JoDena
The giant swallowtail cat may be ugly but the butterfly is beautiful.
Since the Arachides toras is a tropical insect we can not help you with photos...could not even find any on the internet...Good luck rearing it. Send us a photo of the chrysalis and the butterfly or moth.

On Citrus
by: Anonymous

These have been found on three different citrus trees in my yard in Coral Springs, Florida. When you try remove them, they put stickers out in defense that look like horns. Very destructive to your trees.

Found several Arachides toras...
by: Carloe

...on my dwarf lime tree in Pasadena California. I thought they were bird droppings. They raise their heads in response to sound. When touched bright orange horns pop out.

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black and yellow caterpillar

by marie
(san diego)

black and yellow spikey caterpillar

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Brushfoot caterpillar
by: Moni

Marie
It looks like your caterpillar is from the group of butterflies called the Brushfoots (family Nymphalidae)which is a big butterfly family.
My best guess due to the variation of the colors and the off focus pic that this is a Painted lady caterpillar. They are residents of SW U.S. and then the adults migrate north and east.
These caterpillars feed on a wide range of plants such as thistles and other composites, mallow family and other legumes or bean family plants.

This is one of the common caterpillars that are sold for butterfly cages for school children to watch grow and turn into a butterfly.

Caterpillar
by: Gary

He is a nice little fellow and really doesn't eat that much of your garden. When he turns into a butterfly he moves on. I have these in my garden most every year in Abilene, Texas. They don't stick aroung long enough to cause long term damage to my veggies

Catipillar
by: Anonymous

i just found this intresting looking creature and not sure if it ill turn into a butterfly or not. it dosnt eat much at all. this probly isnt helpful info but i just wanted to share it!

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large brown caterpillar with green spots (Imperial moth caterpillar)

by stacy
(strasburg virginia)

creepy

creepy

4 inch caterpillar on my crepe myrtle bush. brown with yellow spots and both ends have yellow thing that look like eyes

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Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Stacy
Your photo is of an imperial moth caterpillar. There is a greenish form and a brownish form. Yours is of course the brownish form. The size indicates it is about ready to pupate. The large larva migrate across the ground to find a good place to burrow in and pupate. They overwinter as pupa. This caterpillar emerges into a large beautiful moth.


The caterpillars feed on leaves of bald cypress, basswood, birch, cedar, elm, hickory, honeylocust, maple, oak, pine, sassafras, sweetgum, sycamore, walnut.

Adult moths do not feed and sometimes come to lights at night in the summer.

imperial moth caterpillar
by: Teresa

thanks for the site to help identify a caterpillar that I just discovered today on my Japanese persimmon tree in Spring, TX. I hope that he will not decide to winter over here, as my husband tneds to trim back plants aggressively & he'll hve to be on the lookout for the chrysalis.

Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Teresa
As I noted this caterpillar pupates in the soil. So give it a little time, before your husband prunes...should probably wait until, late winter anyway...and the caterpillar should be safe in its cocoon in the soil. :-)

Found our friend
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the great site! We just found one of these in the brown form while we were raking leaves. He must have been looking for a place to dig into the ground, since he was in the leaf litter under our bushes.

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Huge green caterpillar (Black swallowtail larva)

by Carol David
(Berkeley, CA)

The caterpillar that ate California

The caterpillar that ate California

Huge bright shiny green caterpillar with black stripes and orange dots, stubby little legs. Found on parsley plant.

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And the winner is...
by: Anonymous

Parsley worm.

Black swallowtail larva
by: Moni

Carol
Well, Anonymous was correct it is sometimes called the parsley worm, as well as - Eastern Black Swallowtail,Parsely Swallowtail,Dill Worm, Parsley Worm, Celery Worm,Carrot Worm, Fennel Worm.
The common name depends on what plant someone sees it feeding on.
Larvae feed primarily on plants of the carrot family and some in the Rue Family . It is usually found on Dill, Parsley, Fennel, Carrot, and Rue in gardens, and Queen-Anne's-Lace, Poison Hemlock, and Lovage in the wild. The caterpillar will stick out smelly orange "horns" to prevent predators or us from picking them up.
It overwinters as a pupa.

The adult butterfly is black with yellow spots for the male and yellow with blue spots for the female. They are a common garden butterfly.

Blk swallowtail
by: Barb

Found this black swallowtail on my parsley and dill plants. I brought the last 3 onto the screened in porch with more plants so they survive

Black swallowtail larva
by: Moni

Barb
Not sure why you brought them inside...they do fine out in the garden. Mother Nature knows how to best take care of them.

Parsley Caterpillar
by: JL from South New Jersey

I had 5 on the parsley plant that went bare. Ididnt know what to do I kept checking the catapillars one kind of curled smaller and went into the soil.They are beautiful there are 2 left they are smaller I am wondering if they will be butterflys. I cant find any other info. on them

BLACK SWALLOWTAIL
by: Moni

JL from South New Jersey
BLACK SWALLOWTAIL does turn into a butterfly.
There is more info in this comment section that I wrote to Carol...see several comments below your comment.

HUGE GREEN CATERPILLAR {BLACK SWALLOWTAIL LARVA]
by: DianaAnonymous

Thanks for the info. Found about 17 of them on my parsley plant here in oklahoma. Had no idea what they were. Can't wait 'til next spring!

BLACK SWALLOWTAIL LARVA
by: Moni

Diana
Actually in OK you should have at least 2 maybe 3 generations of the black swallowtail so they should emerge in 10-14 days depending on weather!
Hope you get to see the butterflies soon!

Thanks for enjoying this cool part of nature!

Will they survive?
by: Adele

How did this black swallowtail larva get on my Parsley plants in the first place? They are in pots growing on a deck. I plucked them off & tossed them into the brush. I feel bad, but need my herbs & didn't grow them for the bugs to eat. Will they survive now?

BLACK SWALLOWTAIL LARVA
by: Moni

Adele
A black swallowtail butterfly flew up to your deck, laid an egg, the egg hatched...that is how the larvae got there. Unless you threw the caterpillar on more parsley, carrots, queen anne's lace weed or other related plants they will not survive. It will die.

Black swallowtail caterpillar
by: Bonnie

I found a black swallowtail caterpillar in my parsley patch Sept. 2, 2011. He's really pretty and turns into a beautiful black butterfly with colored spots on the wings.

found on fennel
by: Anonymous

found them on my fennel plant in Huntington, LI, NY.

Black swallowtail larva
by: Anonymous

Moni,

Thanks for that link! I didn't know the caterpillar changes appearance at various stages.
I have two on my parsley that have the green and black stripes with yellow dots in the black stripes. I will let them continue as they will be butterflies. Thanks again.

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my locust tree has worms (Mimosa webworm)

by FAYE
(COLDWATER, MI)

this worms is blackish and yellow stripes. it rolls up inside a small web on the leaves turning the leaves brown. It has eaten so many leaves, I tried a systemic feed but it didn't work. I applied the systemic in mid july when I noticed that it was getting more infested. what are they, how do I get rid of them?? Thank you. Faye

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web worms
by: Donalda

The best way we have found to handle these creatures without the use of pesticides is to nip the branch with the web and the brown leaves right off the tree.If the tree is too tall,use a water hose with lots of pressure to break the web apart so the birds and other predators can get at them. We had chickadees and goldfinches feeding off them in our flowering crab once the web was broken.

These are mimosa webworms
by: Moni

Mimosa webworms feed on honeylocust in the north, especially the yellower varieties of thornless honeylocust. Bad news is the adult moth is attracted to old webs, so webworms will continue to be a problem on this tree. Over time the tree is weakened and then other pests arrive to help to kill it off.
Planting the greener varieties of honeylocust like 'Shademaster','Skyline', or 'Moraine' are less susceptible.

burn em
by: Anonymous

Here in Texas we get a similar webworm. We burn the web and the branch. A lighter usually suffices: we always have a hose already running nearby just in case. The web burns right off and the creepy crawlies inside fall to the ground, where we squish em. Recently there has been a chemical of some kind in the stores, but we don't like using pesticides of any kind. Fire and water: plain and simple.

getting rid of worms
by: Anonymous

we cut off all the infected area, web, and dead leaves, and branches where "worms" are and burn them, usually doing this, if all the "worms" are gotten, will stop the problem,and stop worms from coming back the next year, though if the tree is left uncleaned out, it will eventually die, and the worms could spread to other trees, and bushes.

Probably a nothing caterpillar, but I'm curious
by: TIFF

Bright green with small yellow spots and a bright yellow stripe along the entire lower body with little black dots on the yellow stripe and a enlarged pointy posterior.


Mimosa webworm
by: Moni

TIFF
If your caterpillar is not a mimosa webworm, we need a photo of your caterpillar to ID it. Please go to douggreensgardendotcom/insect-identification to post a photo.

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