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American Dagger Moth? - Caterpillar Habitat Help

My 7 year old daughter found what we believe might be an American Dagger Moth caterpillar in our garage (We live in northeastern Indiana by the way). It's about an inch long, has a green body and shiny black head. It's covered with yellow thick fur, one black bristle on the back and two toward the front by the head. Does that sound like an American Dagger moth or possibly something else? I tried to take a picture but couldn't focus it.

We put it in her butterfly habitat along with a few maple and oak leaves. We also lightly misted the container with distilled water. Is there anything we are missing?

Also, are these the kind of caterpillars that don't change until spring? We have no experience with this stuff and have found your site very helpful. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Oops. You're right, there are
Oops. You're right, there are four bristles by the head. I was looking at it from the side when I wrote the first post. It looks exactly like the American Dagger picture you posted.

We'll try finding younger leaves too. It doesn't seem to be eating and that scares me. If it doesn't eat we'll have to put it somewhere it can thrive. Should that place be in a tree?

Thank you guys for your quick responses. It's nice to find a community of people that are so willing to help out.

 
non-feeding caterpillars
Before molting or pupating, caterpillars often stop eating and remain alarmingly motionless. It can take well over 24 hours for them to prepare for a molt. When they're getting ready to pupate, they usually enter a "wandering" stage - in the wild, they often leave their foodplant and may travel quite a distance looking for a safe place to build a cocoon - even crossing roads and climbing buildings. That may be why it went in your garage.

The tiger, dagger, and tussock moth caterpillars I've reared all make cocoons in leaf and bark litter - put some large dry leaves and twigs on the bottom of the container, that may be what it's looking for.

 
That was an old post
The original query was in 2008. I think this thread was bumped to the top by a spam post, since removed.

 
oops, but hey, there's the info...
Didn't notice the date, d'oh. At least there's some useful info in the comment if someone finds a dagger moth in the garage today :-)

 
Correct...
I removed 20 spam comments this morning and about 8 of those were comments on older forum post. The spam post moved these comments to the top of the list. After the spam was deleted the "last post" date returned to the last comment before the spam. It does not, however, return the comment to it's previous spot in the list...

 
American Dagger Moth
Here is a link to our info page. I'm not sure you'll find all the info you are looking for, though. I've read that this moth has 2 generations in the south and one generation in the north. I would consider you north, so I'm not positive whether this caterpillar will turn into the moth or will overwinter. I'm guessing that since it seems relatively early in the June-October season that it will turn into a moth this summer. If you would please let us know what happens, that would be great. Thanks.

Not American Dagger
Unless some hair got pulled out, the American Dagger has one near the tail and four nearer the head. See


I'm browsing images to find what you're talking about, but haven't seen it yet.

 
What about Apatelodes?

Wagner says they eat both Maple and Oak. They might only eat the younger leaves, so be sure to give it a choice of leaves. Check the Forum articles for Hannah's on raising caterpillars.

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