New Caterpillar

jibd(6)August 27, 2011

This caterpillar has been busy munching away on my winterberry for the past week or so (probably longer, judging by the size of him!). His camouflage never ceases to amaze me. If the defoliation of the plant hadn't been so blatant, there's no way I would have noticed this guy. And when the stick he's on moves, he sways around like a twig in the wind. Amazing. Any ideas on his identity? I looked on the BAMONA website and couldn't find anything like him.

I find the little attachments on the hairs down by his head really curious. And here's another little surprise I found today:

This little guy was on my spicebush! I can't decide if he is in his second or third instar. I'm leaning towards third. This is the first spicebush cat to have lived more than a few days, so it's very exciting. Equally exciting (for me) is, I figured out how to post pictures right to the forum. It was a good day all around!

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Congrats on the spicebush swallowtail cat!

The caterpillar is a Harris' three-spot/Harrisimemna trisignata - the picture of the adult in my book shows a pretty little moth!


    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 7:14PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

OK, that may be one of the weirdest caterpillars YET! You're right, Sherry...the moth is very pretty. (I did a google on the common name to see some more images.)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 10:24PM
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Thank you Sherry! Apparently the attachments near the head are the molted head capsules, kept to possibly distract predators when disturbed. I agree, DEFINITELY a weird caterpillar. Now that I know how pretty the moth is, I might just keep him until spring for a photo shoot! :-)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 11:51PM
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