red grub like insect

mrowe63May 13, 2007

I was digging in the soil and discovered this mystery insect. It is 3/4" long, reddish brown, hard shelled with no legs and no obvious head. My daughter thought it was an almond. It looked to me like a pill capsule (medicine). I wasn't even sure it was alive til it moved its head. It has this 'armor-like' neck and head - very pre-historic like. Anyone know what this bug is? I will try to dig up another and post a picture later.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'll bet that it's a pupae of some sort. We'll be waiting for that picture!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 2:01PM
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Check out Do they look like that? This link will take you to Bug Guide's pupae identification page

(Thanks for the link to BugGuide, botanybob, it's a real help).

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 2:20PM
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YES!!!! That's it! Thank you for solving the mystery.

Next question - will they damage plants? I found them in the soil beneath a very wilted coreopsis. I can't seem to determine what is wrong with the coreopsis - everything I have read tells me that coreopsis is very drought and pest resistant.

Thanks again for your help.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 7:09AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Those are the pupae of a moth....can't really tell you for sure which one you might have because there are so many that are similar to each other. Many of the hornworm caterpillars (Sphinx Moths) have a similiar pupal stage.

Pupa do not eat. They are too busy changing into a moth (in this case). Most of the Sphinx moths are very pretty. The caterpillers are, too. You'll find them munching away on plants in your garden or yard. Many are host specific.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 12:27PM
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malorn(7 S.E. Mass)

If it is a gypsy moth...squish it now!

Sorry..I don't usually advocate squishing without ID..

gypsy moth is devestating my area..and here's a link..your ID is mr from MA stands for have gypsy moth too...

gypsy moth pupaes really ugly and's a link..

Here is a link that might be useful: gypsy moth

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 2:51PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Not a gypsy moth. They don't pupate in the ground.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 11:07PM
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I believe what talking about is the pupa of a cutworm. So you would want to destroy it so it doesn't breed in future years. I found several of them in my garden, along with dozens of cutworms and no other large insects. Check out the link, it's googled images of cutworm pupa.

Here is a link that might be useful: google pupa cutworm

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 12:33PM
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Are Cutworms and Sphinx Moths in England? I but ten minutes ago found a pupa and I'm not sure whether its a Sphinx Moth or a Cutworm.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 8:33AM
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