Need to ID a fat green caterpillar for kid's project!

Kathleen Moon kmoon at
Fri Sep 17 12:08:54 EDT 1999

jaynine wrote:
> Omygosh! You're right; I didn't give you any geography to work with;
> sorry! We're in Tulsa, OK.
> We have been quite careful not to handle the specimen except by letting
> it crawl onto things. Unfortunately, the project calls for it to be
> deceased, so we can't find out what it likes to eat by trial and error,
> for example. (My son is bringing it to school today.) It also had begun
> to weave itself a 'hammock' (not a pupa case YET), so we felt we needed
> to hurry before the specimen became suddenly harder to handle and
> identify. The project description called for it to be frozen as a
> method of execution, then soft-bodied insects such as itself to be
> preserved in a jar of alcohol.
> After a careful reading of the instructions, it turns out that the
> identification is not *essential* to the project; just enhances the
> educational content. So this will give me time to go try to look this
> one up. Nonetheless, if you think you know what it is, I would
> appreciate the hint!

I wish I could accomodate you better.  A couple suggestions, however: 1/
take a picture of it and post it to your website or to the newsgroup (not to this newsgroup because
several readers here are adamant that no graphics be posted here -- and
*I* am not in favor of people getting flamed for trying to do something
nice for their kids...); 2/ take it to your local natural history museum
or university entomology department; either one should have someone
around capable of identifying it for you, or at least helping you
identify it.  Failing that, the local county agricultural commissioner's
office should.

By the way, I was thinking it might be a sphinx moth caterpillar, but a
"hammock" does not seem to fit (I don't know any that pupate that way);
maqybe it is a saturniid (= a giant silkmoth) of some kind.

 > Thanks for your reply!

No problem.

Pierre A Plauzoles
sphinxangelorum at

[message relayed by Kathleen Moon]

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