What kind of caterpillars are these?

What kind of caterpillars are these?

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My niece found some caterpillars that we can't identify. Anyone know what these are? They were found in Massachusetts. The look kind of like Luna Moth caterpillars to me, but I'm not sure.

Most likely it is Polymopheus moth caterpillar, known as Antheraea polyphemus from the giant moth family.

yellow-green, and the setae become relatively less prominent with each molt. The translucent yellowish-green to green, full-grown (fifth instar) caterpillars are 60 to 75 mm in length. They have yellow mid-segmental lines that run from the sub-dorsal scoli (setae-bearing, wart-like bumps) touching the spiracles and to the lateral scoli on abdominal segments 2 to 7.


The species is widespread in continental North America, with local populations found throughout subarctic Canada and the United States. The caterpillar can eat 86,000 times its weight at emergence in a little less than two months.


The adult wingspan is 10 to 15 cm (approximately 4 to 6 inches). The upper surface of the wings is various shades of reddish brown, gray, light brown or yellow-brown with transparent eyespots.


Adult male moth

Adult female moth

Antenna (biology)

Antennae (singular: antenna), sometimes referred to as "feelers", are paired appendages used for sensing in arthropods.

Antennae are connected to the first one or two segments of the arthropod head. They vary widely in form but are always made of one or more jointed segments. While they are typically sensory organs, the exact nature of what they sense and how they sense it is not the same in all groups. Functions may variously include sensing touch, air motion, heat, vibration (sound), and especially smell or taste. [1] [2] Antennae are sometimes modified for other purposes, such as mating, brooding, swimming, and even anchoring the arthropod to a substrate. [2] Larval arthropods have antennae that differ from those of the adult. Many crustaceans, for example, have free-swimming larvae that use their antennae for swimming. Antennae can also locate other group members if the insect lives in a group, like the ant. The common ancestor of all arthropods likely had one pair of uniramous (unbranched) antenna-like structures, followed by one or more pairs of biramous (having two major branches) leg-like structures, as seen in some modern crustaceans and fossil trilobites. [3] Except for the chelicerates and proturans, which have none, all non-crustacean arthropods have a single pair of antennae. [4]

Field Biology in Southeastern Ohio

Acting on an invitation to do another photography hike with Lisa, we checked out a trail at Clear Creek Metro Park. One never knows what we'll see while exploring, but there are always subjects worth taking pictures of. Because I strictly use a macro lens, my posts tend to concentrate on plants and insects. Birds beware should I ever switch to a telephoto.

It's getting late in the season, and the butterflies, especially swallowtails are looking a bit rough. This Great Spangled Fritillary still looked good, and in the right light those white spots shine silvery.

Most obvious were the hundreds and hundreds of Green Darners zipping around the field hunting. Before long Green Darners will migrate south for the winter. Some fly by themselves, but it is common for them to form large swarms during migration. Some birds follow these swarms south, feeding on them as they go. The life span does not allow them to return, but their offspring make the journey back in the spring.

At this time of year the Tiger moth caterpillars are maturing. They sit openly on leaves without hiding, probably because their hairs are too much of a pain to work through for a meal. This is the Hickory Tiger moth Lophocampa caryae. It can be recognized by the row of black hair tufts down the back.

Another common species is the Pale Tiger Moth Halysidota tessellaris. While the color can vary, the key features are the white and black tufts of hair in the front and back. If the caterpillar has red-orange tufts, it's the Sycamore Tiger.

This charcoal gray species is the Dogbane Tiger Moth, Cycnia tenera. The Dogbane plant is a Milkweed relative.

Some people think all these caterpillars "sting". Depends on your definition, but technically they do not, nor do they have any venom. In the late summer and fall these caterpillars commonly drop from a tree, landing on someones neck. The natural reaction is to rub away whatever one feels on their body. While the hairs are soft, they do end in sharp points, and the short hairs near the body are NOT soft. The action of scraping off the caterpillar results in the hairs penetrating the skin where they act like fiberglass slivers. This can result in some people getting a swollen red rash.

Here is the American Dagger Moth feeding on Redbud. It's a Noctuid moth. You can separate it from the tigers by noticing a tuft of hairs near the middle of the back. Tiger moths tend to have these tufts only at the front and back. These last two can look alike, so I talked to THE caterpillar man Dave Wagner about the difference. You can see on Apatelodes, there is one tuft behind the other, on the Dagger moth, they are in pairs.

Many field guides call the tiger moths Tussock Moths. This is a misnomer, and I never use that name. Tiger moths belong to the family Arctiidae, tussock moths are Lymantriidae. Pictured above is a true Tussock Moth. While they do have similar hair tufts, tussocks are recognized by the spiked punk-hair look on the back.

The petals arise from long tubes, making it ideal for sphinx moths and hummingbirds to nectar at.

Another showy species in this group is the Leatherflower Clematis viorna. Look for it in the late spring.

It is called Moonseed because the seeds look like a three-quarter moon. Pacman anyone?

Here is a male showing where the name comes from. The abdomen is curled like the tail of a scorpion. They use it in mating, but can not sting with it.

While paper wasps are very common, you should look closer at them next time. They are susceptible to another insect parasite. Strepsiptera, or Twisted-wing Parasites live out their life inside the bodies of wasps. The male hatches out and can fly. They look like a black moth, but only have two wings. What makes them different is that although flies have only two wings, their wings are in front and the hindwings are reduced to clubs. In the Strepsiptera, the front wings are reduced to clubs, and they fly with hindwings. The females are wingless and never leave the wasp. They stick out their abdomen and attract the males with a pheromone.

Look closely at this picture and you can see two bumps on the wasps body. Look midway down near each of the back legs and you can see the females protruding. An interesting life to say the least.

Roly-poly bugs have many unique adaptations. They have an exoskeleton with plates. They may not be able to bite or sting, but many are able to roll up into a ball for protection and also use odor as a defense. Roly-polies have even shown social behaviors such as fighting over food and communicating by tapping with their antennae. They absorb water with food, through mouth parts or by capillary action through their uropods. These cold-blooded critters react strongly to humidity levels, light and temperature changes. They like dark, moist areas, and if left out in the sun, they perish.

Roly-poly bugs are decomposers. They digest waste like scat as well as decaying matter from dead plants and animals, and then return the essential nutrients back into the soil. Because roly-polies are sensitive to changes in the environment, they also serve as biological indicators for the health of ecosystems. Additionally, roly-poly bugs are a food source for other animals.

Types of Monarch Habitat

Habitat for monarchs can be anywhere, as long as there is milkweed growing there! Here we showcase a few typical habitat types where monarchs and/or milkweed can be found. These include Gardens, Managed Corridors, Agricultural Areas, and Natural and Restored Areas.


Vast tracts of land have been converted for human use, including residential areas, parks, schools, and cultural institutions. Butterfly gardens within these developed areas provide much needed habitat for butterflies. These butterfly havens may be a few square feet within an urban backyard, or a larger managed garden attached to an educational institution, cultural center, or a corporate office park.

In addition to their benefits to butterflies and other pollinators, gardens serve to educate children and adults on conservation issues, engage them in scientific inquiry, and may lead to increased involvement in conservation activities. Schools are important partners in this effort, as they involve young children in creating and caring for a habitat.

Key components of garden habitat:

  • Gardens should be planted in sunny spots, with some protection from the wind.
  • At least one milkweed species that is native to the area will provide food for monarch caterpillars.
  • A variety of nectar plants with staggered bloom times give butterflies and other pollinators a continuous food source. Include a combination of early, middle and late blooming species to fuel butterfly breeding and migration.
  • Herbicides and pesticides should be avoided, as they can hurt caterpillars and adults.

Additional tips on butterfly gardening can be found at the North American Butterfly Association's guide to butterfly gardening.

Managed Corridors

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are almost 9 million miles of highways in the United States. In addition, there are more than 5 million acres of land within utility rights-of-way. The easements or rights-of-ways that are associated with these linear tracts, when managed appropriately, can provide critical habitat for monarchs and other pollinators.

A typical right-of-way managed for monarchs would include initial removal of invasive and undesirable species, preparation of the surface through tilling and other means, planting of native flowering plants, and management through timed mowing and monitoring.

Key components of managed corridor habitat:

  • A mix of native flowers with different bloom times, including some overlap in flowering, to ensure a stable food source for butterflies. A combination of early, middle and late blooming species will fuel butterfly breeding and migration.
  • Native milkweed to provide food for monarch caterpillars.
  • Minimal, well-timed management that limits impacts to all pollinators, including butterflies, while eliminating woody species as needed. Preferably, mowing should be limited to times when plants have died back or are dormant. Mowing at any time (even in the winter) kills insects. In the summer, some insects can&rsquot get away from the mower, especially eggs and caterpillars. In the winter insects may be dormant in leaf litter or plant stems. Mowing in patches ensures that pollinators can recolonize the mowed areas.
  • Avoidance of insecticides.

If needed, minimal, well-timed insecticide applications. If chemicals must be used, choose the least toxic alternative, and apply them early and late in the day, when fewer pollinators are present. Please note that chemicals will kill monarch larvae, if they are present. Herbicides, if required, should be applied with targeted spot treatments instead of a broadcast method. Whenever possible, mechanical removal of shrubs should be used in combination with herbicides to maintain butterfly habitat.

Invasive plant species control by targeted or mechanical means. Invasive plants can compete with native species for resources. Often, invasives win, because they do not have natural enemies in their new environment to keep their numbers in check. Many invasive plants also secrete chemicals into the soil that deter native plants from growing in the area.

Roadways and utility corridors are highly visible areas. Consider adding a sign or informational brochures in highly frequented areas, such as rest stops, to educate the public about your monarch conservation efforts.

For more information on management areas, please visit the Xerces Society&rsquos Pollinators and Roadsides: Managing Roadsides for Bees and Butterflies.

Agricultural Areas

Agricultural fields used to be an important source of milkweed for monarch caterpillars. Milkweed has historically grown alongside crop plants, and provided abundant food for monarch caterpillars. With the introduction of herbicide tolerant crops, management shifted from a till-based approach to the widespread use of herbicides. This practice has diminished much of the milkweed growing in agricultural areas, since milkweed can survive some tilling, but cannot survive herbicides.

Farmers have an important role to play in the conservation of monarch butterflies. Farms across the continent are adopting pollinator friendly practices.

Key components of agricultural habitat:

  • Native flowers planted in fallow fields, hedgerows, and farm field margins to provide food for butterflies. A combination of early, middle and late blooming species, with overlap in flowering times, will fuel butterfly breeding and migration.
  • Native milkweed planted in unused portions of the site to provide food for caterpillars.
  • Use of low till and no till farming techniques to allow more milkweed to grow alongside crops.
  • Avoidance of pesticides.
  • If needed, use minimal, well-timed herbicide applications. If chemicals must be used, choose the least toxic alternative, and apply them early and late in the day, when fewer butterflies are present. Please note that chemicals will kill monarch larvae. Herbicides, if required, should be applied with targeted spot treatments instead of a broadcast method. Whenever possible, mechanical removal of shrubs should be used in combination with herbicides to maintain butterfly habitat.

For additional information on pollinator friendly farming, please refer to Farming for Bees: Guidelines for Providing Native Bee Habitat on Farms created by the Xerces Society.

Natural and Restored Areas

Natural areas include nature preserves, parks, or areas not actively being used for another purpose. Restored areas are lands that have been specifically replanted and re-purposed for conservation.

Natural areas may also be located in high traffic areas. Trail margins in prairie areas, campsites, and picnic areas present opportunities to enhance butterfly breeding and migratory habitat. Natural areas can be enhanced for monarchs using a few simple ideas.

Key components of natural/restored habitat:

  • A mix of native flowers with different bloom times, including some overlap in flowering, to ensure a stable food source for butterflies. A combination of early, middle and late blooming species will fuel butterfly breeding and migration.
  • Native milkweed to provide food for monarch caterpillars.
  • Minimal management, including the avoidance of mowing until butterflies have migrated from the area. It is important to stress that mowing kills insects any time of the year. Mowing in patches ensures that pollinators always have access to undisturbed patches of habitat, and that surviving insects can recolonize the mowed area.
  • Avoidance of pesticides avoid herbicides, except for targeted invasive species control.

For additional information on monarch conservation in natural areas such as parks, visit Parks for Monarchs: A Resource Guide for Monarch Conservation created by the MJV and National Recreation and Park Association.

  • Opossums are a delicious meal to a large number of organisms that include domestic cats, some eagles, some owl species (barn, great-horned, and striped), domesticated cats and dogs, margays, rattlesnakes, some hawks, jaguarundis, and wolves.
  • Humans also hunt opossums for its fur.
  • Younger opossums are more susceptible to the above predators compared to the adults.

Answer these questions:

a) What is sericulture? What kind of silkworms are reared in Nepal?

Ans: The cultivation of silkworm is called sericulture. There are two types of silkworm reared in Nepal i.e Eri-silkworm and Seri-silkworm, etc.

b) Describe the structure of a silkworm with a diagram.


Silkworm is midsized insect-like butterfly having white creamy color and 2-3 cm length. Its body is divided into three parts:- Head, thorax, and abdomen. It has a pair of antenna, wings and three pairs of legs.

c) In which phase does the silkworm produce silk fibers?

Ans: In the pupa stage the silkworm produces silk fibers.

d) How are eggs kept in the safe way when mulberry leaves are not available?

Ans: When mulberry leaves are not available then eggs can be store to keep in safe.

e) What is an instar? How many times does a silkworm molt in its larval stage?

Ans: The hatched larva is called the first instar. Five times silkworm molt in its larval stage.

f) What is Cocoon? Why is it kept in hot water or air to obtain silk fibers?

Ans: The pupa stage is called cocoon. It is kept in to obtain silk fibers because to kill pupa.

g) Explain the economic importance of silkworm.

Ans: Following are the economic importance of silkworm:
i) Silk is the use to make clothes.
ii) It improves the economic condition of farmers.
iii) Intestines of silkworms are extracted to make strings are extracted to make strings (gut), etc.

h) Mention the features of silk fibers.

Ans: Following are the features of silk fibers:-
i) Silk is a shining, light and durable fiber.
ii) It is longer and more elastic.
iii) It can be colored easily, etc.

i) Draw the life cycle of the silkworm.


j) How do eggs of silkworm get stuck with leaves?

Ans: Egga of silkworm get stuck with leaves due to that they are covered by gelatinous secretion.

k) Mention the systematic position of the silkworm.

Ans: Following are the systematic position of silkworm:
Kingdom: Animalia
Sub-kingdom: Invertebrata
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Type: Silkworm


Some fossil evidence formed when the insect (or part of the insect) was physically compressed in sedimentary rock. In a compression, the fossil contains organic matter from the insect. These organic residues in the rock retain their color, so the fossilized organism is conspicuous. Depending on how coarse or fine the mineral comprising the fossil is, an insect preserved by compression may appear in extraordinary detail.

Chitin, which makes up part of the insect's cuticle, is a very durable substance. When the rest of the insect body decays, the chitinous components often remain. These structures, such as the hard wing covers of beetles, comprise most of the fossil record of insects found as compressions. Like impressions, compression fossils date back as far as the Carboniferous period.

What kind of caterpillars are these? - Biology

Answer true or false to the following statements. Use the graphic to determine the answers.

1. ______ Dogs belong to the order Felidae.
2. ______ A fox belongs to the phylum Arthropoda.
3. ______ Snakes belong to the phylum Reptilia.
4. ______ Lions belong to the class mammalia
5. ______ All arthropods belong to the Class Insecta
6. ______ All rodents belong to the phylum chordata.
7. ______ All amphibians belong to the class reptilia.
8. _______ All primates are mammals.
9. _______ The class mammalia includes dogs, cats and rats.
10. ______ A lion belongs to the genus Felis.
11. ______ All mammals are primates.
12. ______ Insects and lobsters are arthropods.

In each set, circle the pair that is most closely related.

13. snakes & crocodiles | snakes & frogs
14. rats & cats | cats & dogs
15. insects & lobsters | insects & birds
16. lions & tigers | lions & cougars
17. foxes & rats | foxes & dogs
18. cats & dogs | cats & lions

19. List (use species name) all the animals pictured that belong in the Felidae family.

20. The image does not show orders of insects. Suggest three categories of insects that would likely be grouped into orders. Hint: think about what kind of insects there are. Add your three categories to the image.

21. Create an addition to the image given the following information.

  • Mollusks are divided into three classes: Class Cephalopoda (squids), Class Gastropoda (snails), Class Bivalve (clams and oysters)
  • Cephalapods have a few orders, one of which is Octopoda (octopus) and and another is Teuthida (squids)
  • The scientific name for the common octopus is Octopus vulgaris.
  • The scientific name for the common european squid is Loligo vulgaris.

/>This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

What kind of caterpillars are these? - Biology

What is Biological Control?

This segment includes several paragraphs with general information about biological control and these subsections:

  • Classical Biological Control
  • Augmentation
  • Purchase and Release of Natural Enemies

Biological control is a component of an integrated pest management strategy. It is defined as the reduction of pest populations by natural enemies and typically involves an active human role. Keep in mind that all insect species are also suppressed by naturally occurring organisms and environmental factors, with no human input. This is frequently referred to as natural control. This guide emphasizes the biological control of insects but biological control of weeds and plant diseases is also included. Natural enemies of insect pests, also known as biological control agents, include predators, parasitoids, and pathogens. Biological control of weeds includes insects and pathogens. Biological control agents of plant diseases are most often referred to as antagonists.

Predators, such as lady beetles and lacewings, are mainly free-living species that consume a large number of prey during their lifetime. Parasitoids are species whose immature stage develops on or within a single insect host, ultimately killing the host. Many species of wasps and some flies are parasitoids. Pathogens are disease-causing organisms including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. They kill or debilitate their host and are relatively specific to certain insect groups. Each of these natural enemy groups is discussed in much greater detail in following sections.

The behaviors and life cycles of natural enemies can be relatively simple or extraordinarily complex, and not all natural enemies of insects are beneficial to crop production. For example, hyperparasitoids are parasitoids of other parasitoids. In potatoes grown in Maine, 22 parasitoids of aphids were identified, yet these were attacked by 18 additional species of hyperparasitoids.

This guide concentrates on those species for which the benefits of their presence outweigh any disadvantages. A successful natural enemy should have a high reproductive rate, good searching ability, host specificity, be adaptable to different environmental conditions, and be synchronized with its host (pest).

A high reproductive rate is important so that populations of the natural enemy can rapidly increase when hosts are available. The natural enemy must be effective at searching for its host and it should be searching for only one or a few host species. Spiders, for example, feed on many different hosts including other natural enemies. It is also very important that the natural enemy occur at the same time as its host. For example, if the natural enemy is an egg parasitoid, it must be present when host eggs are available. No natural enemy has all these attributes, but those with several characteristics will be more important in helping maintain pest populations.

There are three broad and somewhat overlapping types of biological control: conservation, classical biological control (introduction of natural enemies to a new locale), and augmentation.

The conservation of natural enemies is probably the most important and readily available biological control practice available to growers. Natural enemies occur in all production systems, from the backyard garden to the commercial field. They are adapted to the local environment and to the target pest, and their conservation is generally simple and cost-effective. With relatively little effort the activity of these natural enemies can be observed. Lacewings, lady beetles, hover fly larvae, and parasitized aphid mummies are almost always present in aphid colonies. Fungus-infected adult flies are often common following periods of high humidity. These natural controls are important and need to be conserved and considered when making pest management decisions. In many instances the importance of natural enemies has not been adequately studied or does not become apparent until insecticide use is stopped or reduced. Often the best we can do is to recognize that these factors are present and minimize negative impacts on them. If an insecticide is needed, every effort should be made to use a selective material in a selective manner.

Watch the video: ΚΑΜΠΙΑ (January 2023).