Entomology (Study of Bugs)/What is this?


I was wondering what type of caterpillar this is? We found it in the back yard. I was also wondering what it turns into. Thank you for taking time to take a look.

Dear Brandy - This appears to be a larva of Heterocampa umbrata (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae), known as the white-blotched heterocampa or white-blotched prominent; see http://tinyurl.com/pmr8m26 for an example (note: larvae of this species show a wide range of individual variation in color pattern, some may appear almost entirely pink). The adult moth is rather dull in appearance as are most members of this family - see http://tinyurl.com/ofw6kye for an image.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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