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Photo#262353
Green leaf beetle (Trirhabda flavolimbata) (?) in coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) - Trirhabda flavolimbata

Green leaf beetle (Trirhabda flavolimbata) (?) in coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) - Trirhabda flavolimbata
Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
March 29, 2009
Size: 15 mm
A large number of these shiny, green caterpillars are currently inhabiting many of the coyote brush plants (Baccharis pilularis) at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park in Carpinteria, CA. I'm curious if anyone can help me identify the caterpillars' species.

Update: I've changed the size to 15 mm; I went back this morning and looked at these larvae more carefully, and I don't think there are any that are bigger than that. I've also uploaded three more photos showing more detail (including the prolegs); see #262680, #262681, and #262682. Also, looking at the image of Trirhabda flavolimbata reminded me that several months ago I'd noticed a large number of beetles that looked exactly like that in these same coyote brush plants.

Images of this individual: tag all
Trirhabda flavolimbata? - Trirhabda flavolimbata Green larva on coyote brush (3 of 3) - Trirhabda flavolimbata Green larva on coyote brush (2 of 3) - Trirhabda flavolimbata Green larva on coyote brush (1 of 3) - Trirhabda flavolimbata Green leaf beetle (Trirhabda flavolimbata) (?) in coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) - Trirhabda flavolimbata

I'll get some better photos
I'll go back tomorrow and get some better photos, and more-accurate measurements ("2-3 cm" was a very rough guess, made after the fact, and could well be too high).

I had another person I'd asked for help with this suggest that these might be sawfly larvae, but he didn't suggest anything more specific than that.

 
Moved to species page.
I see no reason why your ID would be incorrect. Nice series of images!

We were going to suggest
Trirhabda, but 3 cm would be way too big. Even 15mm would be a large specimen. But you can check out those beetle larvae and see what you think.

 
Not an ID
Trirhabda was my first idea but they do appear "long" and maybe curled a bit, and I wonder if they may be something else. I'm not sure what though. I looked through Sawfly larvae just for fun, but came up empty handed (head may be wrong too?). Wish I could see prolegs better.

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