Large green caterpillar GEHP
Pierre A Plauzoles
ae779 at lafn.org
Sat Sep 12 11:02:09 EDT 1998
In a previous article, bug.man at BBSRC.AC.UK (Gordon Ramel) says:
>[Karen Delp is] trying to identify this large green caterpillar that [she]
>found on [her] lawn, apparently having fallen from a tree where it
>appears to be making silk. It is 4-5 inches long, perhaps an inch in
>diameter with blue and yellow small spikes. Toward the front, as
>further camouflage, about three pair of those spikes look like there are
ladybugs on them.
It sounds like it might be member of the genus Hyalophora. The
cecropia, ceanothus and Glover's silkmoths (Hyalophora cecropia, H
gloveri, Heuryalus, respectively) are in that genus and are very close in
their appearance. What kind of tree is it on, and what part of the country
geographically are we talking about?
>I returned this caterpillar to the webbed portion of the tree branch. Will
>this web harm my tree?
>Will the caterpillar enshrine itself and stay through the winter?
Possibly. It appears to me that it is pupating. Once it cocoon is
finished, it will shed its final skin and become a pupa. After it is
finished transforming into a moth, it will emerge from its pupa and break
out of the cocoon as a big beautiful moth. This will likely be in the
late winter or early spring.
>I've not seen such a large one before; is it rare?
In some areas. yes, but not in others.
>Should I do something more to protect it?
You did just fine.
>(This is more than one question, and I understand that you are busy
>people--if there is a book I can go to in the local library and learn
>all about this caterpillar, just point me in the right direction and I
>shall do so.) Thanks so much for your help.
You are welcome. We are never ALL so busy one of us can't help answer a
question. Thanks for trying to answer the questions posed by the
entomologists of tomorrow.
>This large creature created quite a stir with the neighborhood children and
>I'd like to be able to answer their questions.
Like I said.... Children are always curious, and that is the way they
learn: by asking questions. If we adults can't answeer them, we have to
get help. Again, thanks.
Pierre Plauzoles ae779 at lafn.org
Canoga Park, California
More information about the Leps-l