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Found a REAL caterpillar--but what kind and what to do?

Posted by annainok 7b Sawyer, OK (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 16, 10 at 15:20

In the vein of "Even a blind squirrel gathers a few nuts", a caterpillar came inside my garage and up to my kitchen door so that I could find it.

Photobucket

Photobucket

It's pretty big, about 3" long, and moving slowly. I'm wondering what species it is, then I can figure out what host plant it needs.

Thanks!

Anna


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Found a REAL caterpillar--but what kind and what to do?

I did some searching and I'm thinking it may be Hypercompe scribonia

What do y'all think?


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RE: Found a REAL caterpillar--but what kind and what to do?

Well I know nothing so take my opinion lightly but I think you are right, it looks very much like the picture in "Caterpillars of Eastern North America".


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RE: Found a REAL caterpillar--but what kind and what to do?

Yes, it is a great leopard moth (Hypercombe scribonia). The red bands show when curled up and advertise that it is full of PAs (pyrrolizidine alkaloids), a toxic substance. Your guy is probably getting ready to pupate. Typically they overwinter, so I don't know if yours is just hanging out or what. It may be a first brood, with a second overwintering. I find them hard to raise, as they pupate in the leaf litter, but someone else on the board my have some advice.
Good luck,
Elisabeth


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RE: Found a REAL caterpillar--but what kind and what to do?

I got it some willow leaves, as that was about the only thing I have in the yard that was on the list of host plants, and it was sort of active for a while. Then it left behind a large piece of frass and is now rather quiet. I can give it leaf litter (I don't have everything raked up even into July.) Normally we don't have cold weather for several more months--November, typically--so I'm wondering if it's really set to overwinter?

Anna


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RE: Found a REAL caterpillar--but what kind and what to do?

I fed a Great Leopard Moth Common Plantain once. I kept the Plantain a live inside. The moth ended up using its spines to make a cocoon. It did winter over and I did get to see the adult stage.


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RE: Found a REAL caterpillar--but what kind and what to do?

Went down to the West Jefferson, Ohio McDonalds last Wednesday night. My son caught a giant leopard moth. I love the blue on their wings and body.

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m502/kcclark99/IMG_5441.jpg

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/m502/kcclark99/IMG_5444.jpg


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RE: Found a REAL caterpillar--but what kind and what to do?

Wow kc...PRETTY moth!!


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