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Photo#430913
Is this a caterpillar or inchworm? Will it be a moth or butterfly? What kind?

Is this a caterpillar or inchworm? Will it be a moth or butterfly? What kind?
Staten Island, Richmond County, New York, USA
July 22, 2010
Size: 1 inch

Images of this individual: tag all
Is this a caterpillar or inchworm? Will it be a moth or butterfly? What kind? Is this a caterpillar or inchworm? Will it be a moth or butterfly? What kind?

Moved
Moved from ID Request.

You might try rearing it out.
First, inchworms are caterpillars in the family geometridae. They are so named because they have adapted unique prolegs that allow them to grip onto trees and look like twigs.

Secondly, knowing the plant the caterpillar is feeding on does not always help. Not every caterpillar has a specific plant it feeds on, especially not moths. For example, the Corn Earworm moth will feed on over 100 different species of plant.

It may be helpful to put this caterpillar in a container and rear it into an adult if you really want to know what it is. Many moths (which is what I think this is) are unknown in the larval stages since it is often difficult to ID caterpillars like this. Although with this unique coloration hopefully someone will know.

What kind of plant?
Do you know what kind of plant he was on? That's always a big indicator for caterpillars, since each caterpillar has a favorite food plant.

 
plant
It was on a bunch of wildflowers that my husband planted to attract butterflies.

 
I would try...
It reminds me of moth caterpillars in the Datana genus. Perhaps Datana major or Datana ranaeceps, although I can't find a guide page for the latter. I'm no expert, just an amateur photographer with insatiable curiosity and a few good books.

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