Brazilian caterpillar ID help

Doug Yanega dyanega at
Mon May 12 13:49:28 EDT 1997

Hi. I've been spending seven months now rearing all sorts of lep larvae
(see below), and have gotten much better at spot-IDing larvae to family
(ah, for a copy of Stehr, but the local library ain't worth beans), but
I've got a puzzling one presently spinning its cocoon, and I know from
recent experience that the odds of getting an adult when you only have ONE
larva in Brazil are very, very slim. Dang all these parasites. At any rate,
if the following features (especially the secretory protuberances) allow
someone to make a definitive ID, I'd be grateful for the help:

Head capsule yellowish, with fine pale hairs, lower margin including ocelli
black, but clypeus and supraclypeus white. Legs pale reddish, shining,
prolegs whitish with pale reddish tint, broad-tipped with approx. 50
crochets per. Almost entire remainder of body white. Abdominal segments
with row of secretory protuberances along midline, one per segment,
extruding yellowish fluid when larva disturbed. All segments with several
tubercles bearing long setae, virtually all of these white. On each side of
midline, tubercles distributed as follows: prothorax with swollen red
tubercle (with long translucent reddish setae) above smaller white
tubercle; mesothorax and metathorax with three similar tubercles, the
dorsal tubercle on mesothorax having slight reddish tint; abdominal
segments with dorsal tubercle, pair of fused dorso-lateral tubercles (upper
one of pair also more anterior), and another tubercle below the spiracles,
which have a narrow black margin. Aside from the prothorax, only on T9 are
there any dark hairs (4-6 of them there), and on T6-8 several of the setal
bases on the dorso-lateral tubercles are black papillae. There is a very
irregular dark brownish line of markings running the length of the body
between the dorsal and dorso-lateral tubercles, better defined anteriorly
and posteriorly, and obsolescent medially.

My guess is some Lasiocampid, but this is largely a process-of-elimination
sort of ID. At any rate, I now have dozens of larval descriptions like the
above, as well as host plant records, parasite associations,
adult-larva-pupa associations, and various other tidbits (including a
growing collection of larval and pupal exuviae) for Acraeidae, Apaturidae,
Arctiidae, Brassolidae, Geometridae, Heliconiidae, Hesperiidae, Ithomiidae,
Limacodidae, Lycaenidae, Megalopygidae, Noctuidae, Notodontidae,
Nymphalidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae, Psychidae, Pterophoridae, Riodinidae,
Saturniidae, Sphingidae, and Tortricidae. The odds are that aside from the
butterfly info, much of this is unpublished, so I figure I'll have raw
material for at least a *few* decent notes by the time I'm done here in a
few more years. If there is anyone doing research on Brazilian members of
any of the above groups (or their parasites), I'm certainly open to
suggestions for collaborative possibilities. Note that I do NOT sell or
trade ANYTHING, so I won't even respond to requests for such.


Doug Yanega    Depto. de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas,
Univ. Fed. de Minas Gerais, Cx.P. 486, 30.161-970 Belo Horizonte, MG   BRAZIL
phone: 031-448-1223, fax: 031-44-5481  (from U.S., prefix 011-55)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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