Black flat fuzzy worm (Soldier beetle larvae)

by Cindy
(Sparrows point)

Pincher things in front, six legs in middle of body. Back half moved like an inch worm. Head is tan on top with 2 black dots

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Soldier beetle larvae
by: Moni

Cindy
Your worm is a soldier beetle larvae. They have a velvety surface.

Soldier beetle larvae feed in leaf litter, loose soil, rotten wood feeding on fluids of insect eggs, earthworms, slugs, snails, and other insect larvae. The adult beetles are found on plants eating nectar, pollen and other insects. These are good bugs for our gardens.

Beetles are active during the day, tho some come to lights at night.

Soldier beetles are found thru out North America.
This insect does not bite or sting.

Thank you!
by: Brittney

I have been trying to figure out what these things are for months!

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Fuzzy Yellow Worm with Orange Whiskers (sycamore tussock moth caterpillar)

by Kathy Arnold
(United States)

I saw this cute fuzzy yellow worm in New Johnsonville State Historic Park, in TN. I've seen them before but I've never known what they are called. This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, on Sept. 28th.

It wasn't very big, around an inch long. It was on a fallen tree beside the lake. The weather was sunny but cool in the shade and this little guy was in a bit of that shade. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.

I really appreciate your help in identifying this little fellow! He's very handsome and I'd like to give him a name.

Thank you,
Kathy Arnold

Comments for Fuzzy Yellow Worm with Orange Whiskers (sycamore tussock moth caterpillar)

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sycamore tussock moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Kathy
Your caterpillar is the sycamore tussock moth caterpillar.

The Sycamore tussock caterpillar does eat sycamore leaves as the name suggests. The younger caterpillars skeletonize the leaves while the older caterpillars eat all the leaf but the main veins.

The adult of the sycamore and banded tussocks look so much the same the only way you can tell them apart in the eastern North America is by genitalia dissection. Fortunately you sent in a photo of the caterpillar! :-)

This insect is found east of the Rockies.

It overwinters as a cocoon, then the moth emerges in the spring to lay eggs on sycamore trees. The young larvae stay together for a while then as they get larger and eat more they spread out.

There are natural predators of this caterpillar so control is rarely needed.

This tussock caterpillar does NOT have stinging hairs.

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black spiked caterpillar with orange feet and yellow/white stripes (Common buckeye)

by Laila Hassan-Meyer
(Stewartsville, MO)

The caterpillar was found in grass next to our house. It's about 2-3 inches long. It has black spiked fur all over it and the legs look orange. There is also yellow and white looking stripes on top and the bottom sides of the caterpillar. We live in Stewartsville, Missouri.

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Common buckeye
by: Moni

Laila
Your caterpillar will turn into a common buckeye butterfly.

This insect is found over most of North America. The adults overwinter in the south, then in late spring the first brood migrates north for the summer.

These caterpillars feed on a wide range of plants including plantains, relatives to snapdragons, Linaria, and in the acanthus family. Adults feed on nectar of many flowers.

That is a neat caterpillar to find.
The spines are not known to cause any skin rashes or problems.

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Grey Caterpillar with Black Spots (Sawfly larvae)

by Peter Haschke
(Asheville, NC, USA)

Hi Moni,

I have this horrible caterpillar infestation on what I think is an Abelia. Every may after the shrub has flowered all leaves are completely devoured and the plant is left completely defoliated by a hoard of grey caterpillars. The caterpillars are grey on the top and have a whitish pale underside. There are place spots running across the body of the beast. I live in Asheville, NC. The attached photo was taken today (May 27, 2014).

Any help identifying these as well as suggestions on how to deal with the best without harsh pesticides would be greatly appreciated.

All best,

Peter

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Sawfly larvae
by: Moni

Peter
To be more specific, we would need to see the head of the caterpillar and photos of other stages. But from your description and photo it is a sawfly larvae. The larvae do vary a bit as they mature and molt thru the different stages.

This insect is related to wasps. The wasplike adult usually has dark wings and colorful heads or bodies. The adults feed on nectar. Sawflies are found thru out North America. Some larvae are host plant specific others are more general leaf feeders.

The larvae do look like caterpillars from Lepidoptera(moths or butterflies) but there are some differences. The most common difference is that the prolegs (rear leg-like appendages) do not have crochets (hooks) on the bottom. Also, there are more prolegs on sawfly larvae than the typical 3-4 found on Lepidoptera. Larvae of sawflies also curl or the tail end coils around the leaf when bothered.

Usually there is only one generation a year. Sawflies overwinter in the ground or protected areas as a pupa.

It is easiest to control when they are small by either picking them off dropping in warm soapy water (sounds like you have too many to do that!). You can try hosing off with a powerful stream of water. Some may make it back to the bush, but others will get eaten :) You can control small larvae spraying with insecticidal soap. However, once they get bigger it is more challenging. Yours are probably gone for this year. Next year watch for them from early May on, so you can get ahead of the damage.

Organic/Natural products that can be use are Neem (an insect growth regulator - needs to be applied before the last stage) and Pyrethrin will control this insect. But Please follow all label directions for your county and state. These products can kill beneficial insects also.

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Black & white caterpillar with yellow/orange legs (Dogwood sawfly)

by Kristine
(Cohoctah, Michigan)

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

Black & white caterpillar with yellow/orange legs. Found it crawling on some clothes that I had hanging on the clothes line, assuming it came down from a tree. There is no hair on this caterpillar.

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Dogwood sawfly
by: Moni

This insect was posted twice. Here is the comment written about this insect.

Kristine
This caterpillar is the larvae of the dogwood sawfly, which is in the wasp order of insects. You must have a dogwood tree or shrub nearby?

When the larvae are small they are covered with a white waxy coating then as they mature you see the colors like yours. They feed on all the different dogwoods and can cause significant defoliation. The larvae overwinter as pupa in rotting wood.

The adults are wasp-like sawflies that emerge in late spring to early summer. They then lay eggs on the undersides of the leaves. There is one generation per year.

For control if you only have a few you can hand pick and destroy the larva. They are controlled in nature by parasitic wasps. However, if damage to the plant foliage is to the point of defoliating the plant before the larvae size reaches 1" long then horticultural oil or insecticidal soap may be applied.

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West Virginia grey caterpillar (Crescent caterpillar)

by Andi
(West Virginia)

The caterpillar is about 2 inches long, it has protrusions that end in circles of red/purple hairs.

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Crescent caterpillar
by: Moni

Andi
Your caterpillar is one of the crescent caterpillars that turn in to butterflies. Without photos from more angles and the head, it is hard to know for sure. It is probably the caterpillar of the pearl crescent butterfly.

These are common butterflies, tho the caterpillars are not seen very often. As large as yours is, it was probably heading to pupate.

The pearl crescent caterpillar feeds on wild asters. The butterflies eat nectar.

Crescents in general, as well as just the pearly crescent, are found throughout most of North America. They are found in gardens, meadows, fields, roadsides and woodland edges.

These caterpillars are not known to sting or cause a rash.

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Gray caterpillar with red stripes outlined in black and yellow dots (Geometrid caterpillar)

by Dawn
(Canastota, N.Y., USA)

Don't know what he was on. My husband came in from yard work and felt something crawling on his neck! Pretty sure it's a Geometrid, not sure what one.

Comments for Gray caterpillar with red stripes outlined in black and yellow dots (Geometrid caterpillar)

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Geometrid caterpillar
by: Moni

Dawn
Yes, it is one of the Geometrid caterpillars, but not sure which one...yet....

Geometrid caterpillars have only 2-3 prolegs near the rear ends, instead of the 5 pairs of prolegs found on most other caterpillars. With no prolegs in the middle, they walk in looping fashion, which gives them the look of measuring something...hence the common names of inchworm, measuringworm, loopers, or spanworms.

These caterpillars mostly feed on foliage of woody shrubs or trees. They can 'stand' very straight on their hind legs resembling a twig. This makes them very hard to see.

Most of the geometrid moths keep their wings spread out when landing.

Your photo is clear and looks familiar, but have not found which genus or species it is. Will post if I do!
In the mean time, do you have any other photos of different angles you could add to this post?
How long was it? Thx

Inch worm
by: Donna

I have thousands of them in my pecan tress. They make that Huge silk looking web. I know that they are harmful to the tree. Most people here in the South (MS) spray them because they will take over is what I've been told. My tress are huge and probably at least 50 yrs. they haven't hurt them yet. Lol But, we do have a lot of martins and so forth of birds. Thanks for sharing the info on this page. Great resource!

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yellow green stripped caterpillar with yellow eyes (Silver-spotted skipper caterpillar)

Eating wisteria

Eating wisteria

Yellow-green caterpillars varying in size from .5 inches to 1.5 inches eating my wisteria. They have what appear to be stripes around the girth giving them a closed accordion like look. The large one has orange-yellow eyes. I discovered that they 'glue' together 2 leaves to form a leaf- cocoon or leaf- cave.

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Silver-spotted skipper caterpillar
by: Moni

Anonymous
Your caterpillar will turn into the silver-spotted skipper butterfly.

These skippers are found throughout most of North America along roadsides, meadows, gardens and other plant filled open areas. This is one of the largest and most common of the skippers. The silver spot does make it easy to recognize.

The caterpillar feeds on foliage of the legume family (bean family) including your wisteria...other plants include kudzu,false indigobush, alfalfa, locust trees, stick-tights, beans. These caterpillars are not a garden pest.

Interesting fact from the Univ of FL entm dept: Insect frass (droppings) may provide chemical cues for parasitic wasps to the location of prey insects. Many caterpillars that live in leaf nests, including the silver-spotted skipper, forcibly eject their frass for considerable distances to eliminate these chemical cues. Silver-spotted skipper larvae utilize their anal comb to throw their frass a distance up to 38 body lengths.

Bugguide website says that the caterpillars hide during the day in silken nests among foliage, emerging at night to feed. There is one generation in the north and two in the south. They do overwinter in the pupa stage.

This insect does not bite or sting.

Thank you, Moni!
by: Lorraine

I realize that this caterpillar may be "common" but for this girl from New York City, this gardening stuff is anything but well known. Just so many creepy crawly things! But I do like getting my hands dirty and helping things to grow. Thank you again for your help.

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Bright green caterpillar with white lines, brown face (Polyphemus moth caterpillar)

by Debbie
(Lincoln, CA )

This lime green critter is hanging from a branch of our plum (?) tree in our back yard. He so stands out against the purple leaves of the tree. He is about the size of my index finger. We are having a very hot summer here in our neck of the woods (outside of Sacramento CA), but that is not unusual. So what do you think!? Thank you in advance for your assistance!

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Polyphemus moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Debbie
So cool you found one! This is the Polyphemus caterpillar one of the large silkworm moths - family Saturniidae.

The larva feed on many deciduous trees and shrubs including oak, as well as birch, hickory, maple, willow, grape and roses. Moths do not feed.

The moths are brown with large 'eyes' on the hind wing.

The cocoons are either spun on the tree of the host plant or in leaf litter under the tree. There is one generation in the north and two in the south.

Great find! Nice photo!!

This insect is found thru out North America except Newfoundland. It is a very common Saturniid moth.

A big thank you!
by: Debbie

Thank you for your ID! Sadly I cannot see him in the tree any longer. I was hoping to catch the coccoon phase! Oh well. Thank you again! Debbie

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Fat and green with blue dots (Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar)

This "worm" is a beautiful green with blue dots running down its back. Big "eyes", and body is about 2" long. He fell out of a strawberry plant when I was sampling the fruit! Found at 3pm 7/14/15 in rural Montoursville, PA.


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Found him!
by: Anonymous

Ok, I think I've identified him. How about a Spicebush Swallowtail (papillio troilus).

Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar
by: Moni

Montoursville
Yes, it is the spicebush swallowtail caterpillar. There is one that looks similar, palamedes swallowtail, but do not think it gets as far north as you. Also, the palamedes is dark maroonish colored underneath...which we can not tell from the photo, but would guess is not there in your caterpillar.

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

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

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

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

Such a cool caterpillar to find! Yours was probably looking for a place to pupate when you found it in the strawberries.

This caterpillar does not bite or sting.

Spice bush swallowtail catapiller.
by: Anonymous

I came home today, and found one on my shovel handle. It's cute! It watched me, and when I touched it, these yellow feelers came out. It also had a weird odor to it. I'm in Marietta, Georgia. Haven't lived here to long.

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Brown caterpillar Geometrid (Stout spanworm moth caterpillar)

by Dawn
(Canastota, NY)

Moni requested more photos.

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Stout spanworm moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Dawn
Found it!!
Your caterpillar is the stout spanworm moth caterpillar. It is a geometrid as we thought.

The caterpillars feed on leaves of walnut, alder, apple, ash, basswood, birch, blueberry, dogwood, elm, hawthorn, poplar, and willow besides other broadleaved trees and shrubs. It is not a pest. There is one generation per year.

This insect is found in the northern part of North America south to NJ and IA.

The male moths will come to lights at night..usually from March to June.

This caterpillar does not bite or cause stinging rash.

Thanks
by: Dawn

Moni,
Thank you so much for the identification! I have several of the tree types you listed in my yard, he must be one happy caterpillar! will have to wait and see if I can find him a a moth.

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Purple "worm" with dark spots (Armyworm)

by Ray Cruz
(Cypress, CA USA)

I found this digging in my dirt this morning. It was sticking its head in the hole then taking it out and putting the dirt in a pile. It has since dug the hole and climbed in it.

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Armyworm
by: Moni

Ray
This is one of the armyworms genus Spodoptera. There are several species, but it is hard to identify it further from a photo.

Armyworms are found thru out North America.

Larvae feed at night on foliage and crowns of a large variety of plants. They hide in the thatch layer of lawns or grasses or burrow in the soil during the day. That is probably what you saw it doing. Although they do pupate in the soil, so it could have been digging into the soil to spin a cocoon.

There are several generations of armyworms a year.

Since you live in CA it could be a western yellow-striped, velvet, or yellow-striped armyworm.
These can be a pest if they are feeding on garden plants. If you can not control them by dropping the ones you find in warm soapy water then a treatment of Bt (Bacillus thurengensis) might be needed. Follow all label recommendations.

These worms do not bite or sting.

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Huge tan caterpillar with spots on sides. (Achemon sphinx caterpillar)

by Sharon Wielgus
(Green Lake County, WI, USA)

Found this on a wild grapevine today. From another description on this site, I think it might be an Achemon Sphinx caterpillar. It's certainly the largest caterpillar I've ever seen, didn't have a "horn", just a dark single spot on rump. The white spots on its sides looked like tiny spirals. It had a very large, flat fronted face. Body was very smooth, with tiny darker dots on it. The grandkids were fascinated, and after studying it and taking pictures, we put it back outside on a grapevine to continue its life cycle. Would love to know what the adult moth looks like.

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Achemon sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Sharon
Yes! you caterpillar is the Achemon. So cool you found it and shared it with the grandkids!!

You can tell the Achemon from the Pandorus caterpillar because the white spots along the sides of the Achemon are spiral looking as you noted (or figure 8), not solid ovals like the Pandorus. Otherwise these two caterpillars look very similar and eat the same food!
This caterpillar eats leaves of grapes, Virginia creeper, Ampelopsis (porcelain vine), and any related vines.

As a sphinx moth caterpillar, they usually do have a horn on the rear end. Yours is in the last stage of development for this group of sphinx moths, so it has lost the horn and has a spot in it's place.
This caterpillar will soon be looking for a place to pupate by burrowing into the soil. In the north there is one generation per year(2 generations in the south), so the moth would not emerge until next summer in WI.

This insect is found over most of North America. The moth is really cool looking tho not as striking or colorful as the Pandorus moth.

This caterpillar does not bite, sting, or cause rashes.

Creation is Amazing
by: Sharon Wielgus

Thanks much for the valuable information, Moni. This is such a helpful website!

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large green-brown caterpillar with white spots (Pandora sphinx moth caterpillar )

Kalamazoo, MI

"Since it was found on our treated deck and probably wants to burrow underground to pupate, I wouldn't have wanted to hold it captive. I let it loose on vegetation after photographing it."

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Pandora sphinx moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Kalamazoo
Thank you for letting the caterpillar head to pupation!!

You found a really cool caterpillar! A Pandora sphinx caterpillar.
They come in several colors orange, green, and reddish and brownish. 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 hornworms since they have a tail. Once it has lost it's tail, it starts looking for a place in the soil to pupate.

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.

The adult moth emerges in the spring. Like most sphinx moths it holds it's wings such it is shaped like a fighter jet. The wings are olive green with darker green patches with a few pink streaks. A beautiful moth!

This insect is found in eastern North America. It has one generation in the north and 2 in the south.
This insect will not bite or sting.

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Black caterpillar , 1/2 inch, stripes (Yellow-striped armyworm)

by Phil
(Baltimore, Md)

A 1/2 inch insect, black in color, with a reddish head, white or yellow stripes, moves rather faster then a caterpillar, two very small black eyes. Insect on a small rock.

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Yellow-striped armyworm
by: Moni

Phil
Your caterpillar is a yellow-striped armyworm. It turns into a brown moth with many lines and bars that make it distinctive.

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

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

If you just find a few you can step on them or put them in a container of warm soapy water.
This insect overwinters as a pupa in the soil.

The adult moth emerges in early April thru May.

There can be 3-4 generations per year...more in southern states, where they are found year round. The life cycle takes 4-6 weeks.

This caterpillar does not bite or cause rashes.


Worried
by: Anonymous

My daughters caterpillar does not want to eat anything.... What should I gives him/her?

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white 'hairy' caterpillar (Butternut woollyworm)

by Brad Middleton
(Pfafftown, NC, USA)

caterpillar with white, fuzzie, uneven 'hair', about 1 inch long

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Butternut woollyworm
by: Moni

Brad
Your insect is a butternut woollyworm. The adult is a sawfly, related to bees and wasps.

The larvae is a worm that is covered with long threads of wax, making it look like a fussy worm. They feed on foliage of black walnut, butternut, and have been found on hickory trees. They are not a pest of walnuts. Adults are found on flowers presumably feeding on nectar.

This insect is found in eastern North America east of the Rockies. There is one generation per year. They overwinter as prepupa in the soil, with adults emerging in the spring to mate and lay eggs.

Sawflies are not known to sting.

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Spiky little Caterpillar (Euclea slug caterpillar)

by Lettie Barnes
(Enid, Oklahoma, USA)

Green, very small and extremely spiky....found on my car in Enid, Oklahoma.

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Euclea slug caterpillar
by: Moni

Lettie
Your caterpillar is one of the slug caterpillars in the family Limacodidae...it is in the genus Euclea. Unfortunately without knowing the species , we can not give a common name.

Your caterpillar is related to the spiny oak slug caterpillar, but the coloration makes me think it is not that species. There are 3 species that would be in OK...and they all look similar enough that it would be hard to know which one you had. Unless perhaps you had the adult, but even 2 of the species of adults are difficult to tell apart without DNA coding!

This family of caterpillars are known to sting, so do not handle it!

These caterpillars turn into moths, some rather pretty brown with large spots of green.
This insect is found in eastern North America in deciduous forests. The caterpillars feed on apple, basswood, cherry, chestnut, maple, oak, redbud, sycamore, willow and many woody plants and shrubs.

Thank you very much.
by: Lettie

I used a piece of paper and moved it off into my lilac bush... It was the first time (I've lived here most of my life) that I've seen one of these.

Euclea slug caterpillar
by: Moni

Lettie
There are so many insects out there to see!

It is not surprising you have not seen it before. They are not that common to come across.

Glad you were careful and got to see this one. Let us know if you find more interesting critters! :)

Stung
by: Em

I was traveling throughout Japan this summer. WhiLe I was in Nagoya, enjoying lunch in a park under a tree I felt a sharp pain emanate from the skin over my shoulder blade. I immediately removed the long-sleeved blouse I was wearing as a light jacket and turned it around to find a tiny green prickly caterpillar like this fellow. I wanted to know whether or not this was the same type that I found in Japan or if there was a different but similar one. I unfortunately didn't get a picture of it. I was kind of busy freaking out wondering if I was poisoned...the pain increased everytime I tried to move in any fashion that caused motion to the skin in the area. I asked someone nearby, a worker in the garden, and he mentioned he had been stung before by them too, so I figured I wasn't in critical danger and went on my way. Pain subsided in a couple of hours.

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brown Caterpillar with mask like face! (Sphinx caterpillar)

by Mikaela
(Windsor, Ontario )

large round body!,dark brown with light brown speks along its body, big face almost looks like its wearing a mask with huge eyes!

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Sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Mikaela
Your photo clearly looks like the elephant hawk moth caterpillar, except it is supposedly only found in British Columbia? Did you find it in Windsor?

There are a couple other sphinx moth caterpillars that look a little like it, specifically the tersa sphinx caterpillar, but also, maybe, the gaudy sphinx (tho this is mostly a southern sp)?

These and your caterpillar have a thick area behind the head that can swell if disturbed, making it look like a snake. This is suppose to scare birds away. The elephant hawk caterpillar has two pairs of "eyes" in this thick area while the tersa and the gaudy only show one major pair.

Elephant hawk moth caterpillars feed on willowherb (Epilobium), bedstraw (Galium), calla, impatiens, and sometimes fuchsias. Tersa caterpillars feed on plants in the Madder family which includes, madder, bedstraw, buttonbush, pentas, buttonweed, etc. Gaudy caterpillars feed on plants in the grape family, and Christmasbush eupatorium.

The sphinx moth caterpillars are also called hornworms since they have a tail (horn on the rear end). Some of these caterpillars lose the tail during the last molt, resulting in an eye-spot where the tail was. When the caterpillars are brown like yours they are probably close to pupating. They tend to start traveling around looking for a soft soil area to dig in and form a pupa. They would overwinter as pupa underground.

The Sphinx moth family has moths that have a triangle shape when they are at rest - most with the shape of a fighter jet. The moths feed on nectar using a long tubed mouthpart called a proboscis that works like a straw. Many moths of this family feed at dusk.

Could you please tell us more about where you found it? what was it eating? how big? what plants were around?

caterpillar with face
by: Anonymous

I found this caterpillar on my path near my front door. I live in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, CF62 8NU. South Wales. Great Britain.

My friend who lives in March, Benwick, Peterborough. England Great Britain. Also found one in his garden.

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Large green and hairy with horns caterpillar (Imperial moth caterpillar)

This caterpillar was found on a sidewalk below an oak tree in Hyattsville, MD (a suburb of Washington, DC).

It's about 4 inches long with 12 segments. It's brownish green.
The 2nd and 3rd segments have a pair of horns, and all the segments have tufts of hair and white spots on the lower sides.
The first three segments have small yellow legs; the 6th through 9th segments have larger, darker legs.
The head is yellow with a vertical black stripe. The tail is made of three triangular yellow-and-black plates.

Thank you!

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Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Hyattsville,
the photo is of the Imperial moth caterpillar.

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

There are two color forms of caterpillars the green ones and the orangish brown ones. Fall is the time of year that they quit feeding and start crawling on the ground to find a place to dig into the soil to pupate. They overwinter as pupa.

This caterpillar feeds on leaves of bald cypress, basswood, birch, cedar, elm, hickory, honeylocust, maple, oak, pine, sassafras, sweetgum, sycamore, and walnut.

It is interesting to note that adults emerge before sunrise and mate after midnight the next day. Adult moths do not feed. Moths do come to lights at night.

The hairs on this caterpillar do not cause rashes nor are poisonous.

Now pupating!
by: Hyattsville

Thank you so much!
We have been keeping the caterpillar in a jar and now it's forming a pupa. Should we bury it outside? If so, how deep?

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Tiny Yellow/Black/White Caterpillar (Introduced pine sawfly)

by Christi
(Limington, ME)

I live in the very southern tip of Maine - this little guy (maybe an inch long) was just loitering on my railing and I'm curious as to what it might be. There was another nearby that was closer to 2 inches, stuck to the side of my house. Mostly yellow and black, white stripe down the length of the back, black head, black feet. Neither of them had any hair. Not sure if it's actually a caterpillar or just a type of colourful worm but either way I'm not too concerned about their presence - yet. I've looked through a number of photos on this website and others and can't quite find one that matches.

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Introduced pine sawfly
by: Moni

Christi
Your insect is the caterpillar of the introduced pine sawfly. Sawflies are related to bees and wasps.
As the name suggests this sawfly was introduced around 1914 in CT from Europe. It is found in northeastern parts of North America in pine forests.

The larvae feed on pine tree needles. When they first hatch from eggs they feed in groups, but spread out as they get older. They overwinter as pupa. Adults emerge as early as April. The adult males have unusually feathered antenna for a sawfly.

Although it can be a serious pest on pines grown for Christmas trees, normally it is not an important pest for our gardens. It does have natural enemies and diseases that keep it in check.

Sawflies are not known to sting.

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Lime green center ( Saddleback Caterpillar )

by Darlene Galwach
(Templeton, Pa. United States)

This lil fellow/gal has been on the leaf of the morning glory for two days now. Seems to enjoy munching on it. Bright green in its mid section with an opening in the center of the green, a sort of brown hole. Red eyes or what look like eyes and brown hairy legs. The rest of the body is brown in color.

Nearing the end of the growing season here in Pa. So I have just left it alone. Also because I am not sure if it is safe to touch it or not.

I have never seen such a creature before. Any information you may have on it will be deeply appreciated. Thank You Very Much for your time!

This was found in Templeton, Pa. US.

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Pack saddle Caterpillar
by: chaindropz

Acharia stimulea has a nasty sting when touched with bare skin. I have accidently touch one with my arm. My memory is that it is similar to several wasp stings.

Saddleback Caterpillar
by: Moni

Darlene
Yes, your caterpillar is the saddleback caterpillar.

Caution: It has poisonous spines on the four large projections (tubercles) and many smaller ones that stick out from the sides of its body. Contact with them causes a burning sensation and inflammation that can be as painful as a bee sting. The irritation can last for a day or two. Usually the site of contact reddens and swells much like a bee sting.

A person "stung" by a poisonous caterpillar should immediately wash the affected area to remove any insect hairs and poison that remain. An ice pack will help reduce swelling, and creams and lotions containing steroids will lessen the discomfort.

The saddleback caterpillar is a general feeder. Food sources are many trees, shrubs, and grasses including apple, asters, blueberries, citrus, corn, dogwoods, elms, grapes, linden, maples, oaks, Prunus species, sunflowers and viburnums. These caterpillars tend to stay together after emerging from the egg for a short period of development.

This caterpillar turns into a rather interesting brown moth. This insect occurs east of the Rockies.

watch out
by: marylinda

This beautiful little creature packs a powerful sting just by accidentally brushing against it. Can cause a slight paralysis to muscles which required a trip to the doctors.

Shocking
by: Anonymous

These small "monsters" were devouring the leaves on my hydrangea. They went unnoticed as I was busy trimming the adjacent bushes. I got stung on both arms and the back of my neck. Extreme pain all across my back made me think I had electrical shock from the trimmer...stopped, showered and applied ice. Later found the culprits and cut away the leaves.

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Green caterpillar with intermittent stripes (Olive green cutworm)

by Angie
(Meridian, Idaho)

I found this caterpillar on our patio on Nov. 11th. We have searched our books and the internet and haven't been able to identify it. However, a google search yielded a picture from this website that is a perfect match. But, we haven't been able to find the picture to identify it. It's about 1-1/2" long. Thanks, Moni!

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Olive green cutworm
by: Moni

Angie
Your green worm is the Olive green cutworm. It turns into a rather decorative lined dark brown moth.

These are found in meadows or mixed grassy areas in the western half of North America.
This is late to be seeing them, perhaps you have had a warmer than normal fall? They do overwinter as mature larva, so this one was probably looking for a mulched area to hibernate for the winter when you found it.

This caterpillar does not sting or bite.

Yes, there is another green cutworm like yours on this site...it is on Caterpillar Identification Page 1 near the bottom of all the photos and comments.
Thank you for sending your photo!

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green caterpillar (Imperial moth caterpillar)

by Sadie
(Fair Oaks Ranch Texas)

Large green caterpillar approximately 2-3 inches long and half inch wide. Red face. small yellow nubs all over.
found in san antonio texas

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Imperial moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Sadie
Your caterpillar is the Imperial moth caterpillar. The moth is a beautiful yellow and brown large moth.

These are found in North America east of the Rockies.
This is one of the silkmoth (Saturniidae family) caterpillars...most get very large ... both moth and caterpillars are rather spectacular in color and size!

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

Adult moths do not feed and do come to lights at night.
When you see these large caterpillars roaming in the fall, they are searching for a place to pupate. They form a cocoon underground in the soil. The moths emerge in the late spring usually before sunrise and then mate after midnight the next day. The moths only live a short time.

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Tiny yellow/green with white & black spot and orange "hair" (Saddleback caterpillar)

by Robert Cochran
(Lincoln University, Chester County, PA)

Where: Lincoln University, PA (Southern Chester County near Maryland and Delaware borders)

When: August 5, 2016 around 2:00PM

What: tiny (1/4" to 3/8" +/-) caterpillar of yellow/green with a single black spot bordered in white. Orange hair on each end which may be needles or barbs.

Activity: it was on the underside tip of an ornamental cherry tree leaf and not moving. I "found" it when my face brushed up against it and I thought I had been bitten.

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Saddleback
by: Chaindropz

Painful saddleback caterpillar sometimes gives multiple caterpillar stings. It is a little like stinging Nettle.

Thank you
by: Robert Cochran

Thank you.

Saddleback caterpillar
by: Moni

Robert
Yes, Your photo is of a saddleback caterpillar.
As you learned, these can sting!

Here is what the Virginia Extension Service says about contact with this caterpillar
"It has poisonous spines on the four large projections (tubercles) and many smaller ones that stick out from the sides of its body. Contact with them causes a burning sensation and inflammation that can be as painful as a bee sting. The irritation can last for a day or two and may be accompanied by nausea during the first few hours. Usually the site of contact reddens and swells much like a bee sting.
A person "stung" by a poisonous caterpillar should immediately wash the affected area to remove any insect hairs and poison that remain. An ice pack will help reduce swelling, and creams and lotions containing steroids will lessen the discomfort. "

The saddleback caterpillar is a general feeder. Food sources are many trees, shrubs, and grasses including apple, asters, blueberries, citrus, corn, dogwoods, elms, grapes, linden, maples, oaks, Prunus species, sunflowers and viburnums.

It turns into one of many brown hard to describe moths.
Sorry you got stung.

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strange white hairy crawling insect (Southern Flannel moth caterpillar)

by Michael Koris
(Houston TX)

It was crawling appeared to have many legs like a centiped, looked like it had a segmented body when it walked. Its was covered in white hair with a orange stripe down its back.

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Asp
by: Anonymous

This is called an Asp Caterpillar. Turns in to a Flannel Moth. They sting with a nasty result. Leaves a rash and severe burning sensation.

Southern Flannel moth caterpillar
by: Moni

Michael
Yes, as anonymous suggested, your caterpillar is the Southern flannel moth caterpillar (Texans do call it the Asp caterpillar)with the rusty ridge and the fact that this species has the "tail".

There are multiple generations of this insect in the south where you live. They are found in woodland areas and feed on a wide range of woody plants including apple, almond, birch, elm, hackberry ,oak, orange, pecan, persimmon, sycamore, and rose.

Caution: This caterpillar can sting with its venomous hairs. It is said that the sting starts a couple of minutes after contact from the spines of the caterpillar. Pain and itchy burning occurs followed by the spot turning red and in a few more minutes small blisters appear. The blisters last several minutes with the itching lasting several hours and the redness lasts a day or more. People sensitive to insect stings should seek medical attention.

As the name suggests, this caterpillar is found in Southeastern and south-central United States. They overwinter as pupa, moths emerge in the spring to lay eggs.

Poke my son finger
by: David

My son was holding onto rail outside front porch. Didn't see the critter and place his hand over the rail then jump screaming it hurts it hurts. Thought he cut himself but notice the caterpillar was on there stuck. Went to wash his hand. IT got his middle finger swollen up and red around. This took place in South of San Antonio, Texas.

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Fat hairless green caterpillar (Pandora sphinx caterpillar )

by Lynda
(Upper Marlboro, Maryland)

This large, fat caterpillar was lying in the middle of our lawn early one morning. It was about 2 1/2 inches long and maybe 1/2 inch in diameter, didn't have any visible hair, seemed slimy, and had a single eye spot on the top of one end. It was alive, and whipped itself around when I gently touched it with a blade of grass.

We live near Upper Marlboro, Maryland

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Pandora sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

Lynda
Though it is a bit hard to know for sure from the angle of the photo (would be great to see the whole side of the caterpillar), but I believe it is a Pandora sphinx caterpillar.

They are not usually considered slimy but if it has been crawling in the dew on the grass in the morning it could be :)

They come in several colors orange, green, and reddish and brownish. 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 hornworms since they have a tail. Once it has lost it's tail, it starts looking for a place in the soil to pupate.

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.

The adult moth emerges in the spring. Like most sphinx moths it holds it's wings back at an angle, shaped like a fighter jet. The wings are olive green with darker green patches with a few pink streaks. A beautiful moth!

This insect is found in eastern North America. It has one generation in the north and 2 in the south.
This insect will not bite or sting.

Thank you, Moni!!
by: Bublynski

Thanks for this identification, and how fascinating! I love sphinx moths and have spent many hours trying to photograph them. There is Virginia creeper near where this guy was found, at the edge of the lawn, and grapevine a little farther away, so it all fits. I wish I'd gotten a photo of its underside, too, but didn't want to disturb the creature too much.

I'm not sure it chose the best place to try to pupate, right in the middle of the dense lawn, but it looked strong and I hope it had success - there was no sign of it later on.

Pandora sphinx caterpillar
by: Moni

It probably did not pupate in the lawn...it would prefer a leaf litter or mulched area to burrow underground to pupate.

So glad you got to see this stage of the cool moths.

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