Oct 9, 2008

Common Characteristics

Carrie has shared with us her spider woes. She's back, but this time with something less leggy. In fact, almost entirely legless. Any clue as to what kind of caterpillar this is? Is there a way of determining from the larvae if it will pupate and emerge as a butterfly or a moth or a fly? By that I mean are there some common characteristics among, say, moth caterpillars that would help us to know that it will be a moth, as opposed to a maggot that is destined for flydom?

Thanks, Carrie.





















Here's a video of it:

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like a rubber fishing lure to me.

wolfpurplemoon said...

When identifying moth and butterfly caterpillars, it often helps to know what sort of foliage they eat, I know that's no good in this case!

Flartus said...

That doesn't look like a caterpillar at all...but this being a family-friendly website, I'll leave it at that.

Carrie said...

Thanks for posting another one of our creepies! And on my birthday -none-the less!

We don't know where he went after this... I haven't seen him again.

Flartus, my husband came to the same conclusion.

Bug looker said...

Looks like a tomato worm to me. They turn into moths.

wobblerlorri said...

Nope, not a tomato worm. They have a horn on their posteriors.

Raging Wombat said...

Thank you for showing restraint, Flartus.

Theodosia said...

No clue either here, but what a wonderful color to that thing, and translucent skin, too!

LisaL said...

Well... glad I'm not the only one thinking something dirty when looking at the photo lol.

Anywho.. it's pretty weird looking. It's shiny green skin reminds me of that Christmas candy old people like :P

Yvonne Navarro said...

::ahem::

That's all I have to say.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's my birthday too!
Lots of the time, moth caterpillars have smooth skin and butterfly caterpillars have bristly or hairy skin. I don't know if that always holds true or not though.

James K. said...

Thought I stumbled onto the wrong part of the internets there for a moment. I'm glad the video exists or I would never have believed this wasn't an early April Fool's post.

Have no idea whatsoever what it is. Bizzare.

Raging Wombat said...

I was glad for the video too.

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Liz said...

Haha, yeah, though I didn't see the uh, other thing it looked like until someone said something. I guess I just assume bug when I come here and leave my gutter mind elsewhere ;)

I have some nice tomato worm/bug/whatever pictures...somewhere. I'll go find them.

Marlewen said...

OBVIOUSLY this is the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland.

Vanessa said...

Sphinx or Hawk moth? They tend to be green a lot.
I think he is adorable. :)

Anonymous said...

A tomato worm turns into a Sphinx moth so it's not that.

Kathleen said...

There are smooth butterfly caterpillars (like the monarch) and fuzzy moth caterpillars (like the woolly bear, which becomes a tiger moth.) So that's no help.

I do think it's a lepidopterid of some sort. What kind, I have no idea. I wonder whether the translucence of the skin might indicate that it's about to shed. Most caterpillars shed their skins four or five times before pupating.

Denita TwoDragons said...

If you folks think it looks like one of...those things...then I'd recommend a good doctor and a hearty round of heavy antibiotics. Because if that's your basis for comparison, then you're suffering from some serious medical difficulties! ;-P

Looks more like a disembodied green zombie finger to me. Yeah, that's better. It's gonna GETCHA!! RUN!!!

Allie said...

Definitely resembles something they sell at GoodVibrations

It also looks like it lights up, but that may be going too far.

Lola said...

Caterpillars and beetle larva both have the helmet type head you see here. Beetles however usually only have 6 legs at the very front by the head (they are commonly called grubs). Maggots do not have he helmet type head. They have black mouth-parts and no visible legs. This is a caterpillar.

I do not know how to tell if it is a moth or butterfly by looking at the caterpillar. However, moths spin cocoons. Butterflys make chrysallises not cocoons.

Hope that helps.

rhinolola (zoologist with entomology leanings)

Raging Wombat said...

That's quite helpful, Lola. Thanks.

HRIGS1 said...

Last night, my darling man pointed out a caterpillar that looked an awfully lot like this one. However, it's back wasn't grey, but exactly the same colour as the salmon-y pink sidewalk tiles it was crawling over. I wish I had taken a video as it kept falling over. Maybe, however, it was a tomato bug, since it had a horn on it's bum. (Also, I had thought about picking it up, but refused as it looked a little too much like, well...which made the hubby laugh pretty hard)

HRIGS1 said...

Also, it wasn't translucent, but a matte opaque and the size of my little finger. Especially because of it's size, I just assumed that it was a caterpillar...I don't want to think what kind of beetle or fly would come out of a larva that size...

http://www.whatsthiscaterpillar.co.uk/america/index.htm

Anonymous said...

I just found the exact same caterpillar in my driveway today, here in Kansas City, Kansas. Translucent salmon skin with a light, bright green belly. Would love to know what he will turn into.