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Photo#393492
Caterpillar sharing oak leaves with sawfly larvae - Lithophane antennata

Caterpillar sharing oak leaves with sawfly larvae - Lithophane antennata
Rocky Gap State Park, Allegany County, Maryland, USA
May 6, 2010
Size: 14-15 mm
Collected in Maryland on 4/30/2010 along with many sawfly larvae feeding on what I think is chestnut oak. I didn't notice that one of the larvae was actually a caterpillar and not a sawfly, but it is lighter in color and is growing faster than the sawflies. When I first saw it around April 30 it was the same size as the sawfly larvae, around 7-8 mm.
I am feeding them leaves of red oak although I am sure it is not the same species on which I found them.
Carnivorous caterpillars

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Caterpillar sharing oak leaves with sawfly larvae - Lithophane antennata Caterpillar sharing oak leaves with sawfly larvae - Lithophane antennata Caterpillar sharing oak leaves with sawfly larvae - Lithophane antennata

Moved
Moved from Pinions.
ID confirmed by David Wagner.

Moved

They are carnivorous!
I got a very informative response from Sam Jaffe: "For a few weeks every spring winter moth caterpillars and various oak sawflies gather in the thousands on some wooden parking lot barriers beneath a stand of pin oak in my neighborhood. It's quite an interesting scene as birds, spiders, centipedes, carabid beetles and many other predators quickly focus in on the area. Two years ago I noticed that various noctuid caterpillars were also cruising the barriers alongside the wintermoths and I was astounded to see that they were joining in on the feast, grabbing and devouring neighboring larva at a surprising rate. I collected and raised both the Ashen Pinion, Lithophane antennata, and the Shivering Pinion, Lithophane querquera, but I believe other Lithophane may have been present at the scene as well.

Your caterpillar is a close match to the Lithophane antennata I have raised (spiracular stripe encompasing relatively unmarked spiracles, extremely sharp margined dorsal spotting organized roughly into three subdorsal stripes, unbroken mid dorsal stripe...) - so thats my vote. However, David Wagner mentions in his guide that L. laticinerea has a very similar caterpillar but with a broader middorsal stripe and more organized subdorsal striping, so there are look-alikes. I'll copy this whole series to him and see if he might offer a more educated opinion on pinions.

Here is an image of one of my L. antennata devouring wintermoth: http://www.pbase.com/spjaffe/image/112948427"

Maybe a young Lithophane
any lateral images? L. unimoda is similar, Wagner pg 408, but there are plenty o' Lithophane!

 
We'll see
I'll poke it around to get a side view; maybe it will cooperate.

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