View Full Version : Moth Cat ID

10-Sep-2010, 12:35 AM

I've been 'rearing' this type of caterpillar for quite a while, letting them roam freely and chew on my balsams. They primarily feed on balsam plants, very rarely would they eat other plants. I've been trying to figure out what species they are without luck -.-

I've only seen the moth once or twice, and I'm not entirely sure...if my memory doesn't fail me, I believe they turn into little orange moths very similar like the ones posted (http://www.butterflycircle.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10191) by sassy19a.

Perhaps someone can provide a lil help here? Cheers.

Painted Jezebel
10-Sep-2010, 08:33 AM
A very interesting cat you have there. It is most definitely not anything like the one you suggested. It is a Hawkmoth larva (Sphyngidae), as it has a small tail, which is characteristic of that familly.

Try to get a photo of the moth when it finally emerges, and we should have a good idea of the species.

10-Sep-2010, 09:25 AM
Thanks :) yes, they're very interesting indeed. When they first hatched, they only have small yellow spots along their black body. But as they grow bigger, the spots start to change to orange then red, as you can see in the photo. White small dots have also stretched across their enitre body length.

The reason for my suggestion is because I've kept 1 of the caterpillars once in a container and that moth was the 1 that I found one day in the container. It was small in size, and I distinctly remember its black-orange striped body. But that was very long ago, probably bout 10 years, so I'll admit I could be wrong. However, in the beginning of this year, shortly before this batch of caterpillars show up, I spotted the same type of moth flying around my garden (but wasn't quick enough to grab a camera -.-), which leads me to wonder if they're really its larvae?

Unfortunately, I've always lost track of the caterpillars as they pupate underground. One day you'd see them still happily chewing on leaves, but the next day they would be gone -.- I've seen one hiding itself and pupate under grains of soil some years back, checked on it everyday, but I just could not tell if it's changed to moth as the soil showed no difference to me.

Nevertheless, I'm still trying to get hold of a picture of the moth :)