Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes


TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Species Acharia stimulea - Saddleback Caterpillar Moth - Hodges#4700

Saddleback Caterpillar Moth - Acharia stimulea Saddleback Caterpiller - Acharia stimulea - Acharia stimulea Saddleback Caterpillar Moth caterpillar - Hodges#4700 - Acharia stimulea Saddleback Caterpillar Moth - Acharia stimulea unidentified moth 5 - Acharia stimulea Saddleback Caterpillar - Acharia stimulea Saddleback Caterpillar Moth - Acharia stimulea Saddleback Caterpillar - Acharia stimulea
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
No Taxon (Moths)
Superfamily Zygaenoidea
Family Limacodidae (Slug Caterpillar Moths)
Genus Acharia
Species stimulea (Saddleback Caterpillar Moth - Hodges#4700)
Hodges Number
4700
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
formerly Sibine stimulea
Numbers
Caterpillar more commonly encountered than the moth
Size
Caterpillar grows to 25mm (1)
Wingspan 26-43mm (2)
Identification
Caterpillar has a distinctive green saddle on a black to brown base. The saddle has a central brown patch and is bordered with white. Lobes on the front and rear bear stinging spines. Clusters of spines also line the sides.

Moth dark brown with wings shaded in black and charcoal. Forewing with one white dot near base and a few near the apex.

The male moth (below) has a flared abdomen:
Range
Massachusetts south to Florida and west to eastern Missouri and Texas (2)
Season
Caterpillar seen July to October (3)
Moth flies June to August in the North stretching to almost the entire year in the extreme South (4)
Food
Many trees, shrubs, and grasses including apple, asters, blueberries, citrus, corn, dogwoods, elms, grapes, linden, maples, oaks, Prunus species, sunflowers and viburnums (2). Troy has personally seen them feeding on liriope, cherry, oak, and holly.
Life Cycle
Young instar caterpillars are somewhat gregarious.
Remarks
Formerly Sibine stimulea.

Caterpillars are capable of inflicting lasting and painful stings with their spines.
Internet References
Georgia Lepidoptera - Photos of caterpillar, male and female moths
Caterpillars of Eastern Forests - Photo and info on the caterpillar
Ohio State University Extension, University of Vermont Extension, and University of Florida Extension describe various stinging caterpillars including this one and provide treatment information.
Works Cited
1.Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars of North America
Amy Bartlett Wright. 1998. Houghton Mifflin Company.
2.Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Moths
Charles V. Covell. 1984. Houghton Mifflin Company.
3.Caterpillars of Eastern Forests
4.American Insects: A Handbook of the Insects of America North of Mexico
Ross H. Arnett. 2000. CRC Press.