Caterpillars of Various Types

Request help to identify insects or other creatures. Please post the location that the insect you want to identify came from, this will help greatly in species determination.
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bethanyfarah
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Caterpillars of Various Types

Post by bethanyfarah »

Hi all,

I've tried looking up what these fuzzy guys grow into but, as most id book focus on adults, I haven't been able to crack either one. Both were seen on Sept 5th in the Dragoon mountains in Southeast Arizona, probably around 5,000ft elevation or so. (Sorry for the not so great photos, I was in a rush to get home)


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IMG_20220905_095825073_HDR~2.jpg (700.7 KiB) Viewed 179 times
This guy was huge! The only other caterpillars I've seen this size are late instar Manduca sexta. It was black and had long white hairs in bands, but didn't see if it had a horn on it's tail. It was feeding on an oak tree and creating a ton of poop (I actually saw the poop first)

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IMG_20220905_100709312~2.jpg (280.76 KiB) Viewed 179 times
This caterpillar was feeding on what looked like a member of the sunflower family, but my botany is weak. It was densely covered in black hairs, some with yellow tips making bands across the back. The belly was bright red, and when I got up close for a photo it reared it's back at me in a defensive posture.
Chuck
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Re: Caterpillars of Various Types

Post by Chuck »

Locals may be able to ID, but I cannot, due to both unfamiliarity and the blurry photos.

In both cases your camera (phone?) focused on the background. This is often a problem with small subjects in a big background. To get the caterpillars in focus, just put something immediately behind them; it could be a piece of paper, or a large leaf; even your hand.
bethanyfarah
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Re: Caterpillars of Various Types

Post by bethanyfarah »

Thanks Chuck, I'll try that next time. Usually with a bit of patience I can get the camera to focus by switching back and forth from macro to standard, changing angle etc. But a member of my hiking group was feeling ill and I had to leave so no time for proper focusing and now I can't id these guys. Ah well maybe one day I'll figure it out or find someone who knows.

Do you know which families of leps get as big as a Manduca sexta? It's can't be very many right? Also are feces a good way to id caterpillars?
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livingplanet3
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Re: Caterpillars of Various Types

Post by livingplanet3 »

bethanyfarah wrote: Tue Oct 04, 2022 1:22 am ...This guy was huge! The only other caterpillars I've seen this size are late instar Manduca sexta. It was black and had long white hairs in bands, but didn't see if it had a horn on it's tail. It was feeding on an oak tree and creating a ton of poop (I actually saw the poop first)
This caterpillar is probably in the family Lasiocampinae, and is possibly Dicogaster coronada -

https://bugguide.net/node/view/172116

https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spe ... r-coronada

Females of this species can have a wingspan of up to 13 cm.
bethanyfarah
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Re: Caterpillars of Various Types

Post by bethanyfarah »

livingplanet3 wrote: Wed Oct 05, 2022 2:41 pm Dicogaster coronada
Thanks livingplanet3 that's a great place to start! Looks like the hairs on those guys are black and all over the back. Mine had white hairs more in banded tufts especially on the sides. But I'll look into the Digogaater genus, maybe it's something very closely related.
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