Currently viewing the category: "Sulphur and White Caterpillars"

Subject:  Unknown Caterpillar/Chrysallis
Geographic location of the bug:  Coryell County, TX
Date: 05/04/2019
Time: 12:05 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! Hope you are both well.
It was quite exciting to discover this little caterpillar attaching itself to a Kiowa Pecan sapling after a rainstorm. I’ve been getting photos of the chrysallis each day, and seeing amazing changes daily. We’ve had multiple thunderstorms and high wind (hence the staking of the sapling, not my preference but necessary on this hilltop). Temps 60-80 degrees, gusty winds, high humidity. Dates May 1, 2, and 3.
If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say this may be a Checkered White?
Thank you for all of your help. We live next to a green space now, lots of butterflies and birds… among other various living things 😉
How you want your letter signed:  Ellen

Checkered White Caterpillar

Hi Ellen,
How nice to hear from you.  We apologize for the delay.  Daniel is currently in Ohio for Mother’s Day and there is excruciatingly slow internet here.  We agree with you that this is a Checkered White caterpillar (see BugGuide) and chrysalis (see BugGuide).  Perhaps you will be lucky enough to witness and photograph the eclosion of the adult butterfly.

Checkered White Chrysalis

Thank you so much! I’ll continue photographing and checking the chrysalis each day. It appears to be doing well despite the ongoing rain and wind. Best wishes, and safe journey to Daniel.

Checkered White Chrysalis

Subject: Cabbage White Caterpillars
Geographic location of the bug: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 12/16/2018
Time: 04:59 PM EDT
In late December, Daniel noticed that the leaves on the wild mustard that was growing in the garden looked as though he had eaten them, but he knew he did not want to begin eating the leaves on such young plants.  When Daniel eats the mustard greens, he generally only picks half the leaf, leaving being the central vein and half a leaf to help the plant gain strength.  These Cabbage White Caterpillars seem to have adapted to eating only partial leaves to minimize the damage to the plant, though still rendering the organic leaves unappetizing to many picky eaters.  Here is a Cabbage White Caterpillar from BugGuide.

Cabbage White Larvae

Cabbage White Larva


Subject:  Pupa identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Canberra Australia
Date: 10/06/2018
Time: 05:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Been trying to identify this but coming up with no idea. It looks like a tent caterpillar web but not their pupae…
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks

Possibly Pupae of Imperial Jezebel

We wish your image had more critical detail, especially of the individual pupae.  We do not believe these pupae belong to a caterpillar.  We will continue to research this matter, but in the meanwhile, we are posting your request as Unidentified.

Update:  Thanks to a comment from Richard Stickney, we believe these might be the pupae of the Imperial Jezebel or Imperial White, Delias harpalyce, which is pictured on The Victoria Museum site.

Subject:  identify caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Raanana, Israel
Date: 03/26/2018
Time: 11:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found a lot of these caterpillars in our garden eating our nasturtium leaves. We have become fond of them, and have put some in a box, hoping to get butterflies (which we will release of course). They remind us of the silkworms we used to have as kids. Please can you give us some information about them. Is there anything else we can feed them besides nasturtium leaves?
How you want your letter signed:  Bug lovers

Large White Caterpillar

Dear Bug lovers,
Thank you for providing the information that nasturtium is the food plant.  We believe this is the caterpillar of a Large White,
Pieris brassicae, a butterfly that is found in Israel according to Israel’s Nature Site.  According to Learn About Butterflies:  “The Large White, often inaccurately referred to as the Cabbage White, is found across the whole of Europe including the Mediterranean islands and the sub-arctic areas of Scandinavia. It also occurs in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and across temperate Asia to the Himalaya mountains. It does not occur naturally beyond these regions, but was accidentally introduced to Chile.”  Hortographical has many images of Large White caterpillars feeding on nasturtium.

Thank you Daniel for all that good information,
We look forward to many white butterflies.
This is a great service you offer.
Best wishes,
Bug lovers Anthony and Jenny

Subject: identification
Location: Tucson, AZ
October 6, 2016 6:04 pm
Dear Bugman,
I am submitting a few photos of insects for identification. They were taken between October 1 and 4 2016 in our community garden in Tucson, AZ.
Image 1 I believe to be a bee fly, perhaps of genus Exoprosopa.
Image 2. is a caterpillar (Sulphur of some sort?) on Lindheimers Senna
Image 3 fairly large sized ants
I would be very happy if you could identify the insets in these photos that I would like to share with my fellow gardeners.
Thanks very much!
Signature: Melody

Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar

Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar

Dear Melody,
Unless there is a good reason, like a predator/prey relationship, we tend to confine our postings to a single species, or closely related species for classification purposes on our site.  We will be dealing with your identification requests one at a time.  The caterpillar is that of a Cloudless Sulphur,
Phoebis sennae, which you can verify by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  The caterpillars are found in both a yellow and green form, with the yellow caterpillars feeding on blossoms and the green ones feeding on leaves.

Subject:  Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar in Mount Washington
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
February 28, 2016
We were shocked to see this bright yellow caterpillar meandering across the patio.  We immediately recognized a Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar,
Phoebis sennae, but we do not have any Cassia growing anywhere near.  Where did it come from?  We checked BugGuide and learned:  “Caterpillar: usually pale green and marked by a yellow stripe on each side and black spots in rows across each abdominal segment.  Above and below the yellow stripe there are usually small areas marked with blue.   There is also a yellow form that occurs when it feeds on yellow flowers of its host plants. The later instars of the yellow form have a dark transverse band across each segment” which means our Caterpillar was feeding on yellow blooms.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar feeds most commonly on Cassia and some other woody and herbaceous legumes” and we do have an Acacia in the garden, another legume in the family Fabaceae , so we will check it out to see if there are any additional Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillars feeding upon it.

Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar

Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar

Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar

Cloudless Sulphur Caterpillar