update on mysterious milkweed caterpillars?

Roger C. KENDRICK kendrick at hkusua.hku.hk
Thu Jun 4 19:04:28 EDT 1998

Sounds possibly like a semi-looper moth: Noctuidae, subfamily Catocalinae
(sensu lato, i.e. including Ophiderinae).

Laurel, can you possibly describe exactly which abdominal segments (counting
from the thoracic end but not including the 3 pairs of true legs on the
thorax) have prolegs - this would give a very good indication as to which
Family / Subfamily this wee beastie belongs.

hope this helps,

Laurel Godley wrote:

> I have now been told that the plant on which these caterpillars are
> feeding is california goldenrod (solidago californica.)  I still have
> not id. what they are though.  The largest is going on three inches now.
> Again with black & white banding, three long yellow strips the length of
> it's body.  The body is very smooth.  The very small ones tend to move
> along in an inch worm fashion and will rear up dramitically on their
> back legs when bothered.  Could they be some sort of large moth?  The
> caterpillers seem very butterfly like to me and as mentioned quite large
> so far.
> ......Please, please help.  The suspense is killing me!
> Laurel

Roger C. KENDRICK   B.Sc.(Hons.)
PhD student & Demonstrator, Dept of Ecology & Biodiversity
The University of Hong Kong
mailto:kendrick at hkusua.hku.hk
http://web.hku.hk/~kendrick/hkmoth.htm   « Hong Kong Moths »
http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Canopy/1085/   « H.K. Lepidoptera Group

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