View Full Version : Strange grub

Painted Jezebel
16-Nov-2008, 09:09 AM
Originally thought this was a Cat, but am quite sure now it is not. Can anyone tell me what this is. My thoughts are that it is a Sawfly larva, but it seems too large for that. Length c. 4cm.

16-Nov-2008, 09:37 AM
Looks like a moth cat to me... :thinking:

Painted Jezebel
16-Nov-2008, 10:00 AM
It is the missing prolegs that concern me.

16-Nov-2008, 04:42 PM
Hi Les,

I usually only check the Early Stages and Host Plants forum, but your use of the word grub caught my attention. While moth caterpillars are not my forte, your beautiful "praying" larva certainly appears to be a geometrid. Please know that virtually all such looper cats have only TWO pairs of prolegs (on segments A6 and A10), while sawfly immatures typically possess SIX or more pairs of false legs. For comparison, here are examples of Geometridae larvae from eastern North America: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/insects/cateast/loopers.htm

BTW, click the below link for information and a Flash clip about Hawaii's remarkable meat-eating geometer caterpillars.



Great Mormon
16-Nov-2008, 07:23 PM
ive seen this fella in USR before....

Painted Jezebel
17-Nov-2008, 08:10 AM
Thanks for the info, Keith. If it stops raining, I will try to go back to where I saw them and collect a couple. However, the road up the mountain may have been washed away during the recent rains.

Could Admin please transfer this thread to the moth forum, thanks.

17-Nov-2008, 01:29 PM
It is the missing prolegs that concern me.Geometridae larvae only have the last two pairs of prolegs, which is why they are called "loopers", since they have to flex their prolegs all the way up to their true legs to move.

20-Nov-2008, 10:49 AM
Geometridae, Geometrinae - Dysphania militaris

One of the most frequently found geometrid cats in HK, especially in mangrove, though also found in forest.

cheers, Roger.

Painted Jezebel
21-Nov-2008, 08:45 AM
Thank you Roger. Could it possibly be D. subreplata instead, as that is the common species here? I was unable to locate any further cats when I returned, but I know what to look for in the future.

PS. I have completed the draft Apsarasa radians paper. Not overly happy with it, but not done this sort of thing before. If OK, I will bring the text file with me to Penang (Leaving today)

21-Nov-2008, 11:44 AM
No worries, Les.
There are a couple of further developments, but we can discuss these and spruce up the draft over a beer in Penang.

As for the Dysphania, it looks a dead ringer for militaris - see http://www.mothsofborneo.com/part-9/plate12.php - though I don't know what the larvae of congeners look like, with the exception of subrepleta, which is illustrated in D.H.Murphy's 1990 paper (Raffles BZ 38(2):119-203 (http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/rbz/journal382.php)) and does not match your photo. I guess the only option is to rear through to the adult to be certain.

cheers, Roger.