Identifying a species by caterpillar

Mike Soukup mikayak at
Wed Jul 28 06:50:07 EDT 1999

I think you have a moth....not a butterfly.  And, I will go out on a
limb and say it is probably a luna moth (Actias luna).  Luna
caterpillars usually turn orange/maroon shortly before pupation.  Also,
they tend to pupate on the ground (especially broods that will winter
over).  You may see a photo OF BOTH THE LARVAE AND MOTH BY GOING TO :
If it is not a is another Saturniidae (Silkmoth).  Photos of
the others may be found at the same web site
Chris Johnston wrote:
>  I recently found quite a large caterpillar (approx. 3.5-4 inches
> long) wandering around near the front door of my business in
> Sheffield, Massachusetts (in the Berkshires).  After a few hours, I
> discovered that it had enclosed itself in silk wrapped up in some
> curled leaves and bark.  I've tried to identify which species it is
> (knowing very little about Lepidoptera), but have yet to find any
> pictures that seem to look like it.  The nearest I can tell is that it
> is similar in size and shape to some swallowtails. The caterpillar had
> no tufts or horns or anything and was a light, orangish, fleshy color
> on top.  Underneath, it appeared to be a brighter green with a green
> head.  Also, it had distinctive dark spots on the very end of its body
> (3 spots, I think.) They reminded me of wing spots on an adult. Again,
> this is in Western Massachusetts.  Can anyone help me identify this
> butterfly?  I've become really curious about it.  Thanks. Chris
> Johnstonlorax at
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