Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Colorful worms
Sep 20, 2020 08:26:20   #
JRiepe Loc: Southern Illinois
 
The first image is of a tiny worm I saw while doing yard work a couple days ago. The others were taken at various times in the past.


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Sep 20, 2020 09:04:09   #
relbugman Loc: MD/FL/CA
 
Fine photos of larvae. 3 & 4 are Cutworms, probably variation in the same species, the 4th is probably last instar on the ground searching for a place to pupate - they dig under the soil and make a tight cell to shed their skin - there are a lot of Species! #5 is a Tussock Moth, don't know which one. All are moth cats.

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Sep 20, 2020 09:37:12   #
JRiepe Loc: Southern Illinois
 
relbugman wrote:
Fine photos of larvae. 3 & 4 are Cutworms, probably variation in the same species, the 4th is probably last instar on the ground searching for a place to pupate - they dig under the soil and make a tight cell to shed their skin - there are a lot of Species! #5 is a Tussock Moth, don't know which one. All are moth cats.


Good information. Thanks.

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Sep 20, 2020 09:37:48   #
tinusbum Loc: east texas
 
gummy worms? good job

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Sep 20, 2020 12:09:14   #
Mark Sturtevant Loc: Grand Blanc, MI
 
A very good set! 👍
Cutworms seems reasonable for #1 and 2. But this is one of many occasions where I wish I had a field guide just for caterpillars.

The tussock moth cats are a funny little group, with species all decorated out with bright colors and little poofs and tufts of various kinds of irritating hairs. They just cheer me up looking at them. This one is the white-marked tussock cat. They used to be very common, but I rarely see them now for some reason.

The next one -- well! That there is the notorious gypsy moth caterpillar. Invasive over many decades, and rather destructive as they steadily spread westward. About two years ago I never saw a single one in my area. Last year I saw two. This year I've seen a few hundred. When I peel up loose tree bark, I will often see several male moths hiding under there. Females don't seem to fly. You will see those earlier in the summer sitting on tree trunks next to their egg masses. I try to not hate them but they don't make it easy. Still, they feed a lot of birds I will give them that.

The last one is a beetle larva, probably in the leaf beetle family (Chrysomelidae). These are strikingly similar to caterpillars. the shield like plate just behind the head is a beetle larva indicator.

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Sep 20, 2020 14:14:37   #
relbugman Loc: MD/FL/CA
 
Beetle larva -- I'll take that correction, not being either a lep nor beetle type person, good call for good reason. My ent taxonomy courses from nearly 6 decades ago are fading from my brain. I left the NE before the Gypsy moths arrived.

I was not sure about the first two, and let them pass; the Cutworm subfamily Noctuinae is immense with great variation and very high population density for many species, check out:
https://bugguide.net/index.php?q=search&keys=cutworm&search=Search
if interested (with a few misplaced pics).

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Sep 21, 2020 09:59:23   #
JeffDavidson Loc: Originally Detroit Now Los Angeles
 
Nice. #1 and #6 are my favorites.

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Sep 21, 2020 12:22:45   #
sippyjug104 Loc: Missouri
 
These are ever so cool..! I truly enjoy seeing them for I seldom see them in the wild which means that either they are very good at hiding or I lack knowing where to look for them and I suspect that it is a combination of both.

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Sep 21, 2020 16:48:54   #
JRiepe Loc: Southern Illinois
 
Thanks all and Mark you sure know your little critters.

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Sep 21, 2020 18:00:36   #
wthomson Loc: Arizona
 
I knew you'd worm your way into the forum with this !!

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