Currently viewing the category: "Leafroller Caterpillars"

Big Beetle in FL
Location: Tampa, Fl
March 27, 2011 4:13 pm
Hi Bugman,
I’ve been living in Florida the last 8 years and never seen this kind of bug. Maybe it’s the size that has me flustered as it’s rather large at over 1 inch long. It scared my wife in the garage and we are in The Tampa Bay area.
Signature: CT

Caterpillar Hunter

Dear CT,
This is one of the Caterpillar Hunters in the genus
Calosoma.  They are important predators that help to control caterpillar populations.

I’m glad I asked and the Calasoma will come in handy. We’ve had a a very horrible webworm problem in the Tampa area this year (pictures attached). That accumulation of worms on the trunk is from one and a half days of worms.
Thank you, Cesar Tioseco

Oak Leaf Roller Outbreak

Hi Cesar,
Thanks for writing back with your images of the Caterpillar infestation.  We believe these are probably the same Caterpillars that we have received several letters regarding thus far this year from Florida.  Our first letter arrived March 7 and the caterpillars were identified as Oak Leaf Rollers,
Argyrotaenia quercifoliana.  The Texas A&M University website has information on these Caterpillars.  For various reasons, there are periodic outbreaks of certain insects that create media attention and cause concern, and then all is forgotten until the creatures reappear several years later in prodigious numbers again.  We are curious about the control method that is documented in your photographs.  Is this a sticky tape product specifically designed to control insects on trees?

Location: Central Florida
March 5, 2011 8:01 pm
Just a few weeks ago we started getting these little worm-like bugs all over our house/trees. Now normally it’d be fine, we’re not freaked out by bugs or anything but they are EVERYWHERE. We can sweep them off the porch/cars and the next morning there’s just as many if not more. I tried looking them up but can’t find any that actually look like them, I’m not sure if they’re just babies, or what. Friends were talking about killing them/hosing them down/etc but I don’t want to harm them if they’re useful/pretty.
Signature: Anna Moore

Oak Leafroller

Hi Anna,
Another reader just supplied us to a link entitled “Caterpillars Invade Tampa Bay” that provides information on the Oak Leafroller,
Argyrotaenia quercifoliana, and other similar Caterpillars that are currently being reported in great numbers in Florida.

What is this?
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
March 7, 2011 2:58 pm
We’ve been seeing many of these drop from our trees recently (mostly from oak trees). In the past few days there have been hundreds around our house and we’ve been seeing them drop from trees all over the neighborhood this weekend. They are green, with a black head and appear to be some sort of larvae but not sure. Some are really tiny while others more than an inch long. They drop down on a silk-like thread so it now looks like we have spider webs all over. Any idea what they are, or what they will become?
Signature: Greg

Oak Leafroller

Green caterpillers
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
March 14, 2011 10:52 am
I recently sent in a picture of green worm looking bugs that hang on a thread of silk from our Oak trees. I just came accross this new item about them.
Caterpillars invade Tampa Bay!
”Jane Morse, with the Pinellas County Extension says the caterpillars are the larvae of either oak leafrollers or oakleaftier moths”
Just wanted to let you know!
Signature: Greg

Oak Leafroller

Dear Greg,
We apologize for not writing back to you.  We had every intention of trying to identify this caterpillar phenomenon, but we got very busy with a personal matter.  We are very happy you wrote back and provided a link to a news story on the Oak Leafroller or Oakleaftier Moth Caterpillars.  Unfortunately, Jane Morse did not supply a scientific name for the Oak Leafroller or Oakleaftier Moths, but we did locate a Texas A&M Agricultural Extension Service webpage article that has some great information.  BugGuide provides the scientific name 
Argyrotaenia quercifoliana for the Oak Leafroller.