Currently viewing the category: "moth caterpillars"

Subject:  Green Worm?
Geographic location of the bug:  Spokane, WA
Date: 08/14/2021
Time: 02:11 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  found this little guy hiding in the lower crevice underneath my sliding door to the backyard. small enough to fit under the door entirely. i couldn’t see any legs and it seems to only move by flexing its body like a worm. thicker (and greener) than a worm, however. reacted a little to simply blowing in it but it didn’t react when i tapped it with a toothpick (not the sharp sides, i don’t wanna hurt it). no bigger than my index finger in length
How you want your letter signed:  Connor S.

One Eyed Sphinx Caterpillar

Dear Connor,
This is not a Worm.  It is a Caterpillar, more specifically a Hornworm, a caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth or Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae.  Now comes the interesting part.  It sure looks like the caterpillar of a Lime Hawkmoth,
Mimas tiliae, but that is a European species that is pictured on Wildlife Insight.  12 years ago we posted a sighting of a Lime Hawkmoth in Pennsylvania and through that posting we learned that Lime Hawkmoths have already been reported in eastern Canada.  Doug Yanega, an entomologist at UC Riverside informed us:  “The Lime Hawkmoth is already known from eastern canada so Pennsylvania is just the first time it has been sighted across the US border. Probably introduced carelessly or intentionally from someone who has imported and was rearing Sphinx Moths from overseas.”  According to iNaturalist:  ” the lime hawk-moth, is a moth of the family Sphingidae. It is found throughout the Palearctic region and the Near East, and has also been identified in eastern Canada and in northern Spain (Europe).”  Twelve years have passed since that posting and it is entirely possible that the Lime Hawkmoth has either expanded its North American range across the continent or that it hitched across the country with tourists.  We might be wrong in our identification.  Perhaps Dr. Bostjan Dvorak or another specialist in the family Sphingidae will either confirm or correct our tentative identification.  If we are correct, this might be a first sighting in Washington as we are unable to locate any information on its presence there.

Update:  August 22, 2021
Thanks to a comment from Bostjan Dvorak, we have been informed that this is a One Eyed Sphinx Caterpillar, not a Lime Hawkmoth Caterpillar.

Subject:  Caterpillar identification
Geographic location of the bug:  northern Ontario, Canada
Date: 08/08/2021
Time: 08:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help me to identify this little guy. I saved him from my kitty, and well certain death. Please help?
How you want your letter signed:  Ms. Tara Lilian

Red Humped Caterpillar

Dear Ms. Tara Lilian,
This is a Red Humped Caterpillar,
Schizura concinna, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on a wide range of woody plants, from many different families.”

Subject:  Big bug, hot for limes
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/19/2021
Time: 06:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this fella on my lime tree, just cruising around.
Taken June 7th.
How you want your letter signed:  Bug curious

Hornworm looks like Carolina Sphinx

Dear Bug curious,
This is a Hornworm, the caterpillar of a Sphinx Moth in the Sphingidae family, and it appears to be a Carolina Sphinx which is pictured on BugGuide.  The Carolina Sphinx feeds on the leaves of tomato, pepper and other solanaceous plants and not the leaves of a lime tree.  Do you have tomatoes or other related plants nearby?

Hi Daniel.
The plants nearby are a laurel tree, a rosemary plant, and a Portuguese blood orange tree.
About 50 feet away are some habanero plants, so maybe that’s it.
No tomatoes.
Basil? That’s not far away either, about 50 feet in another direction.

Subject:  Green and black hairy caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Mayan Ruins (Koba), Quintana Roo, Mexico
Your letter to the bugman:  Good evening! My family and I came across this beautiful gem of a caterpillar and I cannot find it anywhere on the web. Maybe perhaps you might know.
How you want your letter signed:  Keli rae

Possibly Automeris metzli Caterpillar

Dear Keli,
This is a Giant Silkmoth Caterpillar, probably in the genus
Automeris, and quite possibly Automeris metzli which is pictured on Project Noah.  Caterpillars in the genus can sting.

Thank you so much! It’s such a beautiful moth, as well as larvae..

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Jensen Beach, FL 34957
Date: 06/27/2021
Time: 09:50 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These suddenly appeared on my ornamental trees. Are they harmful?
How you want your letter signed:  Kathraine

Oleander Caterpillars

Dear Kathraine,
We verified the identity of your Caterpillar as
Empyreuma pugione on BugGuide, and the adult is the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, and since we do not want to call this the caterpillar of the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar Moth, we are going to call it the Spotted Oleander Caterpillar.  We will let you decide if they are harmful.

Oleander Caterpillar

Thank you so much! I am just hoping that the birds have a good lunch and leave it at that.
I just did some more reading. They’re poisonous to birds due to eating the oleander. I might try to pick some of them off, but my trees should live alright in spite of the caterpillars’ appetite.

Hi again Kathraine,
The caterpillars feed on the leaves and if the oleander is otherwise healthy, it will regrow leaves.  Caterpillars do not generally kill the plants upon which they feed.

Subject:  What’s that bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Gulfport ms
Date: 06/26/2021
Time: 06:50 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This bug was in my mother’s house and stung her.  She said it felt like a bee sting.
How you want your letter signed:  S. Rea

Crowned Slug

Dear S. Rea,
This is a Stinging Slug Caterpillar in the family Limacodidae, more specifically the Crowned Slug,
Isa textula, which is pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Caution! This is a stinging caterpillar. “