Joined: Aug 02, 2016 Last Active: Oct 14, 2019

Caterpillars! So much to know, so little time. I'm still learning, but trying to help with ID's when I do recognize a caterpillar. Sadly, I can't identify adults, chrysalis/cocoons, or frass (poops). I'm getting acquainted with North American caterpillars, but have a hard time with critters in other places (for now).

Caterpillar photography tips! The little things are very uncooperative. They roll up or thrash or hide their heads when we're trying to get their pictures! When possible, try to get a picture of the back of the caterpillar (from the top), a side picture, and one of the head (head capsule). I know they are often hard or impossible to reach, but the more information in the picture, the better.

Caterpillar trivia! The smooth ones are safe to handle in general, caterpillars don't bite! If it has spikes, hair, fuzz, or a terrible attitude it's better to wait before handling. Some caterpillars thrash around, roll up into balls, spit up green stuff, or even hiss/squeak when bothered. Some groups of moths can only be told apart by dissection, even as adults. One group like this is the Pug moths, genus Eupithecia. There are 160 species in that group in North America!

Caterpillar resources!
For the US and Canada: https://bugguide.net/node/view/57/bgimage Bugguide
For Central Americas: http://janzen.sas.upenn.edu/caterpillars/database.lasso

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