Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Caterpillar ID


Unknown caterpillar
Unknown caterpillar  
QUESTION: Can you help me identify this caterpillar? And how I can care for it? I found it in my garage, and I live on the east end of Long Island, NY.

ANSWER: Dear Orena - From the looks of it, this caterpillar probably  is beyond saving. Also, although the body doesn't look quite right, the head appears remarkably similar to that of a gypsy moth caterpillar (http://tinyurl.com/kmzagee), which is not a species you would want to save.

Hope this helps,

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QUESTION: Oh ok, and isn't it just forming a pupa? and if it is a Gypsy Moth caterpillar, then I know what to do with them. :) Thanks for your help!

ANSWER: Dear Orena - From what I can see, it looks seriously ill. Do you have any other images of it that you could post?

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QUESTION: Well I have a video...is it because the pupa is crooked? What are the indications of illness?

Dear Orena - Unfortunately, I am at present having a great deal of difficulty viewing videos on my computer. The main reason I believe that your caterpillar is ill is the flaccid and hairless appearance of its body in your image. It does not look to me like any normal progression to pupation.

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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