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Caterpillar - Good or Bad?

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Caterpillar - Good or Bad?

Post  VJ72584 on 7/3/2016, 2:16 pm

Found this guy in the field peas last night.  Pretty to look at, but what is he up to? The peas are almost done for this year so I am not too worried about any damage to them. I will replant that box soon.



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VJ72584

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Re: Caterpillar - Good or Bad?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/3/2016, 2:43 pm

Not sure...

http://rurality.blogspot.com/2005/07/white-cats.html

Sound right?
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Re: Caterpillar - Good or Bad?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/3/2016, 2:57 pm

I'd say since it doesn't have any long contrasting tufts like a tussock moth caterpillar, it's likely a tiger moth caterpillar. Quite possibly a "yellow bear" (analogous to woollybear), which turns into a Virginian Tiger Moth. Just like the page Scorpio Rising found suggests.

My caterpillar guide book says they can start out cream colored but change color as they age, to more of a reddish-tan. If they aren't white for long, that explains fewer references to white ones.

The moth is mostly white, with a yellow chin, and yellow flanks that also have black spots. This kind of  caterpillar isn't very picky about what they eat, so he may well be enjoying your pea leaves.
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Re: Caterpillar - Good or Bad?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 7/3/2016, 3:15 pm

Or the salt marsh caterpillar. Neither is a plant devouring thing that I can find.

http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/caterpillar-identification.html#submission_21699497

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Re: Caterpillar - Good or Bad?

Post  VJ72584 on 7/3/2016, 3:42 pm

A Virginian Moth - makes sense - my name is Virginia. Lol  Funny how you pay no attention to bugs until you start a garden.  Thanks guys.

On another note, this year I have seen almost no honey bees or butterflies.  We had so much flooding last fall, I wondered if that has something to do with it.
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Re: Caterpillar - Good or Bad?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 7/3/2016, 4:08 pm

Laughing Hm... Maybe we should just start naming the bugs after the people asking about them. Like Scorp-IO moth! (I know it's not a good joke if I have to explain it, but there is an Io moth.)

They'll eat vegetable leaves, so technically a pest, but no where near as destructive as most pests. If you've got a weedy place nearby and he's still hanging out when you start switching the box over, you could probably move the caterpillar there and he's likely to find some weeds that are perfectly acceptable as food and do his thing without bothering you further.
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Re: Caterpillar - Good or Bad?

Post  camprn on 7/3/2016, 8:17 pm

Bugguide.net

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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