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Need Caterpillar ID

Posted by bob_71 z7 MD (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 2, 11 at 13:15

Found this one just barely alive under a mature oak tree.


View of the bottomside

View of the topside

Showing relative size to lens cover. About as large as a tomato hornworm.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need Caterpillar ID

It's a luna moth, Bob. Hopefully, it just needs to find a place to make its cocoon.
Have you tried putting it back on the tree?

RE: Need Caterpillar ID

If it cannot move, put it in a smooth bottom container. If it has no health/parasite issues, it will pupate without its flimsy cocoon.

ID trick I tell people is green face=luna, brown face=poly


RE: Need Caterpillar ID

Are those parasitic cocoons near the head of the cat?
'Hope they aren't!
I just look for the yellow line, KC - yellow line, luna - no yellow line, poly.

RE: Need Caterpillar ID

Those look like tachinid fly eggs, to me. The adult glues the little eggs to the outside of the host caterpillar, often close to the head capsule, I think. Anyhow, when the eggs hatch, the larvae will chew its way to the innards of the host.

Tachinids don't make little cocoons when they are ready to pupate.

RE: Need Caterpillar ID

But my way is clearly better. ;D

All my lunas are 5th instar right now. I wanted to refresh my memory on what a 2nd instar looks like. I did a Google images on "luna moth caterpillar." Quite a few of the "luna" cats don't seem to have a stripe down their side or a green face. Must be some local variations ;)

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