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Polyphemus Moth caterpillar? Are they common?

Posted by scottokla (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 21, 11 at 0:33

I have two large green caterpillars on two blueberry bushes and a brief search shows this might be it. One will likely still be there tomorrow. Anyone know if these are common here in NE Oklahoma?

I can't bring myself to kill large caterpillars so in this case I sacrificed about 25% of one bush and 40% of another to these. Hopefully they are not common so it will be worth it to my childlike mind. If in fact these are not common here then maybe I can take a picture of it and search again. I may be way off.


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RE: Polyphemus Moth caterpillar? Are they common?

Scott,

The polyphemus moth is said to be 'widespread' here, but I don't seem them very often and I think that maybe they're not as widespread as they once were. You're in such a beautiful, lush area of Oklahoma (most years) compared to mine that I'd bet you have a better chance of seeing them there than I do here. There's usually two hatches--one in mid-spring and one in July or August, so I assume that the ones you're seeing now are from the second hatch. Are they really large cats? They go through several instars, so if they're still fairly small, I suspect they'll be munching on your plants for some time to come. I hope the blueberries survive all the munching.

We had huge numbers of butterflies and moths in April and May when we were having some rainfall, but numbers have dropped very low here during the last 4-6 weeks. I suspect the heat and drought are really hurting the butterfly and moth populations this year.

Enjoy it while it lasts because I think the average Oklahoman rarely, if ever, sees one....and you're got two!

Dawn


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RE: Polyphemus Moth caterpillar? Are they common?

Here it is.


Photobucket

Photobucket


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